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THE RACE: Subway 400

Nextel Cup Race #2 of 36 for the 2004 Nextel Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Sunday, February 22, 2004 in Rockingham, NC

  • TV: Fox - 1:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: Fox - 12:30pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel
    Wednesday, February 25th [Fast Forward] at 4:00pm/et;
    Thursday, February 26th [Full race] at 3:00pm/et;
    Friday, February 27th [Fast Forward] at 1:00am/et

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

  • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes, Jeanne Zelasko

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • NASCAR on TV and Fox Sports

  • Purse/Race Awards: $4,751,466 (was $4,088,278 in 2003)

  • Entry List Links: JAYSKI

    North Carolina Speedway site

  • 2003 Race Winner: Dale Jarrett, 117.852mph, started 9th

  • Event Race Record: Bobby Labonte, Feb 2000, 127.875mph

  • Track Race Record: Jeff Burton, Oct 1999, 131.103mph

  • Most Wins - Active Driver: Rusty Wallace, 5

  • Most Wins - All Time: Richard Petty, 11

  • Most Poles - Active Driver/All-Time: Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, 5

  • Most Top 5s: 23 - Bobby Allison and Richard Petty

  • Most Top 10s: 29 - Darrell Waltrip

  • Slowest Race Record: Richard Petty, 1977, 97.860mph

  • Oldest Winner: Bobby Allison, 46 years, 3 months, 1 days, 3/4/84

  • Youngest Winner: Jeff Gordon, 23 years, 6 months, 22 days, 2/26/95

  • Most Cautions: 14 - Twice, most recently 10/22/89

  • Most Caution Laps: 118, 3/13/1977

  • Fewest Cautions: 2 - 3 times, most recently 11/4/2001

  • Fewest Caution Laps: 12, 10/25/1992

  • Most on the Lead Lap: 19 - twice, most recently 2/24/2002

  • Fewest on the Lead Lap: 1 - 15 times, most recently 3/28/1982

  • Most Running at the Finish: 42 - 2/27/2000

  • Fewest Running at the Finish: 13 - Twice, most recently 10/29/67

  • Worst Starting Spot to Win: Neil Bonnet, 1988, started 30th

  • Most Lead Changes: 36 - Twice, most recently 10/30/1983

  • Fewest Lead Changes: 2 - 3/18/1973

  • Most Laps Led by a Race Winner: 491 - David Pearson, 3/181973

  • Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 13 - Darrell Waltrip 3/1/1981

  • Most Wins by Manufacturer: 20 - Ford

    Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practice: Friday, February 20th, 11:20am - 1:20pm/et; Saturday, February 21st, 9:30 - 10:15am/et.

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, February 21st, 11:10 - 11:50am/et on TV-FX tape delay at 3:00pm/et.

    Qualifying Info

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, February 21st, 10:20am/et

  • Qualfying Order: - Subway 400 qualifying order or Subway 400 qualifying order -

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-38, Friday, February 20th at 3:05pm/et, TV-Speed Channel and live via MRN Radio, XM Satellite Radio and via's Racecast (paid). Re-aired on Speed Channel at 8:00pm/et, Friday, Feb 20th and at 2:00am/et on Sat, Feb 21st.

  • NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is a paid subscription service).

  • Track Qualifying Record: Rusty Wallace, Feb 2000, 158.035mph

  • 2003's Pole Sitter: Dave Blaney, 154.683, finished 10th.

  • Track Specs: North Carolina Speedway, know as 'The Rock':
    Track/Race Length: 1.017 mile oval, 393 laps, 399.68 miles
    Degree of Banking: Turns 1-2: 22 degrees; Turns 3-4: 25 degrees; Straightaways: 8 degrees
    Width: Turns 55 feet wide; Straightaways: 50 feet wide
    Number of Pits: 45 on front straight (1,436 ft. long) pit road
    Pit Stalls: 30 feet long; 16 feet wide
    Length of Front Straight: 1,300 feet
    Length of Back Straight: 1,367 feet
    Length of Turns 1 & 2: 1,256 feet
    Length of Turns 3 & 4: 1,437 feet
    Grandstand Seating: 60,113
    Pit Road Speed: 45mph

  • Track Homepage: North Carolina Speedway

  • Last Year: see my 2003 Subway 400 Race Info Page.


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

    Number of Tires Required:
    Nextel Cup: Left - 1,600, Right - 1,600;
    Busch Series: Left - 600, Right - 600

    Tire Codes: Left - D-6822; Right - D-6824

    Tire Circumference:
    Left - 87.3 in.;
    Right - 88.6 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front - 26 psi; Left Rear - 26 psi;
    Right Front - 40 psi; Right Rear - 38 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front - 20 psi;
    Left Rear - 20 psi;
    Right Front - 36 psi;
    Right Rear - 33 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 85-95 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: This is the first time this specific combination of Goodyear Eagles will be used in NASCAR competition . . . the previous combination of left- and right-side for Rockingham were in place for the last three seasons . . . this is the first of three times Nextel Cup teams will compete on these tires in 2004 . . . Darlington (both races) is the other NASCAR track where teams will run this same combination this season . . . both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series cars will compete on the same tires this weekend . . . as on all ovals longer than one mile, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Rockingham . . . inner liner inflation should be 12-25 psi higher than that of the outer tire.

    Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Tire Development: "At Rockingham, we are introducing a new tire construction on each side of the car, though the compounds are essentially the same as last year. This new set-up is more forgiving and provides a broader operating window to allow drivers to 'hustle' the car a little more through the corners."


  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $20,000 at North Carolina Speedway for leading the points and winning the race (Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002 - it was not won in 2003). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if the driver is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finishers in the drivers point standings(2-16-2004)

  • 69 Races since... Leader bonus has been won. It's been 69 races since the NASCAR Winston Cup points leader won a race and took home the NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus. #17-Matt Kenseth led the series points in 2003. #18-Bobby Labonte collected the biggest paycheck, $190,000, with a win at Indianapolis in 2000. The $10,000 bonus is available following every NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. If the point leader does not win the race, the bonus rolls over to the next week. Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002, it was NOT won by #15-Waltrip at Daytona, it rolled over to Rockingham.(2-15-2004)



none listed

news and links

  • Race Notes: Rockingham:
    • Matt Kenseth won the Subway 400 at the North Carolina Speedway, scoring his eighth career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 150th career start. His most recent victory came at Las Vegas last March, 35 races ago.
    • Kenseth is the first repeat winner in the last five races at Rockingham. He won this race in 2002.
    • Kenseth is one of just three drivers to start the 2004 season with top-10 finishes in each of the first two races of the season. Kenseth finished ninth at Daytona. He is joined by Dale Earnhardt Jr., (fifth) and Jeff Gordon (10th) two top-10 finishes in both of the races this season.
    • This is Kenseth's second victory, third straight top-five and sixth straight top-10 finish at Rockingham.
    • This race was the first victory for Ford in 2004 and first since Ford won at Bristol last August, 14 races ago.
    • Today's 0.010 margin of victory ties Atlanta (Dale Earnhardt over Bobby Labonte - 3-12-00) for the fourth closest finish since electronic scoring was introduced in 1993.
      The closest margin of victory was 0.002 second by Ricky Craven over Kurt Busch at Darlington in March 2003. Dale Earnhardt beat Ernie Irvan by 0.005 second at Talladega in July 1993 for the second closest finish. Kevin Harvick crossed the line just 0.006 second ahead of Jeff Gordon at Atlanta in March 2001 in the third closest race since the advent of electronic timing.
    • The 2004 Subway 400 marks the first time since the inaugural American 500 in 1965 that only one race will be run at the North Carolina Speedway.
    • Rookie Kasey Kahne (second) scored his career-first top-10 finish [and top-5]. It is the second straight race that a rookie has finished in the top three. Scott Wimmer finished third at Daytona.
    • Jamie McMurray (third) scored his first top-10 finish in 2004. It marked his second top-five finish in four races at Rockingham.
    • Sterling Marlin (fourth) scored his first top-10 finish in 2004. It was his 15th top-10 finish in 37 races at Rockingham.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fifth) is the only driver with two top-five finishes this season. He retained the lead in the NEXTEL Cup point standings by just seven points over second-place Matt Kenseth. This was his best finish in nine races at Rockingham. His previous best here was 13th last fall.
    • Jeff Gordon (10th) scored his second top-10 finish in 2004. He has scored 11 top-10 finishes in 23 races at Rockingham.
    • Jimmie Johnson ended an eight-race streak of top-10 finishes that dated to Kansas City last October. With his 41st-place finish in the Subway 400, Johnson dropped to 25th in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Johnson had ranked in the NASCAR Top 10 for 70 straight races (since Atlanta in March 2002), the longest streak in the top-10 since Dale Earnhardt stayed in the top-10 for 123 races between Daytona (2-14-93) and Atlanta (11-10-96). Johnson ranks ninth in consecutive races ranked among the top 10 under the current point system.
    • Terry Labonte (17th) has been running at the finish in the last 44 straight races, a streak that began at Charlotte in October 2002.
    • Five of the drivers in the final 2003 point standings are currently ranked among the top-10 in 2004. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (first), 2003 Champion Matt Kenseth (second), Kevin Harvick (third), Jeff Gordon (fifth) and Tony Stewart (sixth).
    • The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Leader bonus will be worth $30,000 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
    (NASCAR Stats Services)(2-22-2004)

  • - Rumblings - Rockingham: Since Matt Kenseth is one of the "Gillette Young Guns" we'll say he won by a whisker! That close shave had to help, cause Kenseth won today's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway by the whopping margin of .010 seconds over Kasey Kahne. With less than 10 laps to go it was up for grabs amongst the top-3, as Jamie McMurray had his chances as well. This was career win #8 for Kenseth (tying him with Kurt Busch and Kyle Petty for 52nd on the all-time win list), and #67 for Roush Racing. His second win at Rockingham (he won this race in February of '02) was worth $222,303 for Kenseth from the over $4.7M in posted awards.
    It was all about where you were when the cautions fell today, and it's apparent that NASCAR's "no racing back to the caution" rule is still a work in progress. We saw two changes to Rusty Wallace's pit crew for this race, and it certainly wouldn't be a big surprise to see some more moves from that corner before we get to Vegas.
    Kasey Kahne (2nd) had his career-best finish today. He was 41st at Daytona last week in his debut.
    Jamie McMurray (3rd) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Bristol last August.
    Sterling Marlin (4th) had his best finish since he was 4th at Darlington in September of 2002!
    Rusty Wallace (7th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Loudon last September.
    Ward Burton (9th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Watkins Glen last August.
    Johnny Sauter (14th) had his best finish since he was 23rd at Loudon last July.
    Scott Riggs (31st) had his career-best finish today. He was 34th last week at Daytona in his debut.
    Andy Hillenburg (34th) had his best finish since he was 24th at Daytona in October of 1998 (only 4 races).
    Carl Long (38th) had his best finish since he was 29th at Lowes Motor Speedway in October of 2001 (only 5 races).
    STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 10 Top-10's in the last 11 races. Matt Kenseth has 4 Top-10's in the last 5 races.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is a tie between Matt Kenseth (+22) and Johnny Sauter (+22). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Dale Jarrett (-31), followed by Jeff Green (-20).
    The big move forward in the standings this week goes to Jamie McMurray (36th to 11th), while Dave Blaney who didn't compete this weekend fell from 15th to 37th. Of the competitors, Jimmie Johnson fell the most spots (5th to 25th)....unchartered territory for him.(StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(2-23-2004)

  • Martin called to the NASCAR trailer: #6-Mark Martin was called to NASCAR's trailer [phone booth? oval office? white elephant?] as NASCAR was concerned that he was blocking for his teammate, #17-Kenseth [Martin is also listed as the owner of the car], Martin was insulted by the accusation.(Speed Channel's Speed News - NASCAR Edition)(2-22-2004)

  • WOW! Kenseth squeaks by Kahne to win the Subway 400: #17-Matt Kenseth beat rookie #9-Kasey Kahne by a hair, who had an great run on the last lap. Kenseth wins his first of 2004 and his 8th career win. Kahne finishes 2nd in his 2nd start. 3rd place went to #42-Jamie McMuarry [who won the Busch race on Sat.). #8-Earnhardt Jr. finished 5th, his first ever top 10 at The Rock, allowing Dale Jr. to keep the Nextel Points Lead, 340 to 333 [Kenseth]. #40-Sterling Marlin finished 4th, his first top 5 since Darlington in Sept 2002.(2-22-2004)

    Jayski's Subway 400 Results Page

    (note: not official until Monday around noonish)

  • The Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway is OVER:
    The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions and some notes
    after 393 of 393 laps [now an official race]:
    pos,car#,driver,starting spot
    #17-Kenseth (23)(259 laps led)
    #9-Kahne (3)
    #42-McMurray (2)(76 laps led)
    #40-Marlin (13)
    #8-Earnhardt Jr. (7)
    #12-Newman (1)(12 laps led)
    #2-Wallace (4)
    #97-Busch (27)
    #0-Burton (16)
    #24-Gordon (5)(39 laps led)

  • The so called field-fillers? (where they started): and where they are running:
    #80-Hillenburg (43): 34th, -16 laps
    #46-Long (42): 38th and out after a spectacular accident
    #72-Shelmerdine (41): 42nd and out
    #09-Ruttman (40): 43rd and out

  • Cars on the lead lap: 9 (of 43 starters)

  • Off track/out of race (9):
    #09-Ruttman (vibration?-out);
    #72-Shelmerdine (?-out);
    #48-Johnson (accident-out);
    #88-Jarrett (engine-out);
    #45-Petty (?-out;
    #46-Long (accident-out);
    #31-Gordon (accident-off)
    #99-Burton (?-off)
    #32-Craven (?-off)

  • Laps Leaders Unofficial (6 with 15 lead changes): #12-Newman; #42-McMurray; #24-Gordon; #31-Gordon; #17-Kenseth; #29-Harvick;

    Cautions: 7 for 58 laps

    Caution 7 - Laps 352 - 363: #31-Gordon slid up the track in turn 2 and got into #43-Green, Gordon ended up slding for a few feet on his driver side and wacked the inside backstretch wall.
    Caution 6 - Laps 265 - 279: WOW! accident #77-Gaughan tagged #01-Nemechek, who went sideways, hit #46-Long who rode the back stretch wall and tumbled 5-7 times, Long hurried and got out of the car and walked away ok. #18-Labonte slowed and got tagged by #6-Martin and was just a few feet from Long's tumbling car.
    Caution 5 - Laps 213 - 219: #88-Jarrett lost a transmission or an engine, debris on the track.
    Caution 4 - Laps 195 - 199: #14-Foyt bounced off the turn 1 wall after pitting.
    Caution 3 - Laps 131 - 140: #49-Schrader slowed to come into pitroad and #48-Johnson didn't avoid the #49 and hit it in the rear, Johnson went up the track and hit the turn 4 wall.
    Caution 2 - Laps 53 - 57: #45-Petty wacked the wall after getting together with #30-Sauter when Petty came up.
    Caution 1 - Laps 39 - 44: #49-Schrader scraped the wall in turn 2 and cut down a tire, may had gotten together with #30-Sauter.

  • Who got a lap back on each caution at Rockingham - The Lucky Dog Pack?: (and their finish)
    Caution 7: #0-Burton, 9th
    Caution 6: #31-Gordon, 36th
    Caution 5: #24-Gordon, 10th
    Caution 4: #30-Sauter, 14th
    Caution 3: #30-Sauter, 14th
    Caution 2: #80-Hillenburg, 34th
    Caution 1: #14-Foyt, 32nd

    RACE NOTES: (as noted on TV or MRN Radio)
    ---- #15-Waltrip coasted into the garage with problems with the rear-gear justas the 7th caution flew, the team fixed it and got him back on the track before the 7th caution was over.
    ---- green flag pitstops were occurring when the 7th caution came out, so the field is a bit jumbled up.
    ---- lead lap cars are made green flag pitstops in the 345-350 lap range.
    ---- around lap 325, #16-Biffle, bounced off the wall twice, but was able to drive on.
    ---- on lap 290 or so, #6-Martin slide up into #32-Craven, did some minor damage to his right front, but both drove on.
    ---- #46-Long, who is the #75 Truck Series car chief, the car he drove was the only one he had and it is pretty much destoyed.
    ---- on lap 193, #20-Stewart had to come in as he had a tire going down.
    ---- #14-Foyt's team left an adjusting wrench in on lap 191 and he had to come back to take it out, stop-and-go penalty.
    ---- on lap 143, #18-Labonte had to pit for a flat left rear tire after getting together with #9-Kahne.
    ---- #29-Harvick [lucky dog #3?] came back on the track when he had already went past the commit line [cones] and had to start at the end of the longest line.
    ---- #9-Kahne's team left an adjusting wrench in and had to come back to take it out, stop-and-go penalty.
    ---- #15-Waltrip's team left an adjusting wrench in and Waltrip will have to come back in, stop-and-go penalty.
    ---- the leader, #17-Kenseth came in on lap 130 to make his green flag pit stop.
    ---- green flag stops are starting around lap 120
    ---- drivers falling a lap down are starting to pit around lap 113-118 range.
    ---- #99-Burton is back on the track on lap 72 after the team changed a radiator, the old one had a hole
    ---- #19-Mayfield is overheating, the oil temp guage is running hot, the water temp guage is not working.
    ---- wow, 12 laps and all but 2 of the leaders came into pit during the 2nd caution.
    ---- during the 1st caution pitstops, a tire escaped the #19 team and crossed the pitroad, #1-Andretti hit the tire with his right front, no serious damage, the #19 had to come in for a stop-and-go penalty. #43-Green also hit a tire on pit road and did some damage, no word on what team that was from.
    ---- everyone came in to pit during the first caution.
    ---- to the back, none

  • Where did the top 10 starters finish at Rockingham?
    #12-Newman, finished 6th
    #42-McMurray, 3rd
    #9-Kahne, 2nd
    #2-Wallace, 7th
    #24-Gordon, 10th
    #19-Mayfield, 11th
    #8-Earnhardt Jr., 5th
    #43-Green, 28th
    #88-Jarrett, 40th
    #16-Biffle, 23rd

  • To the back: have heard of no teams changing engines.(2-22-2004)

  • Some Notes: Terry Labonte has a streak of 43 consecutive races without a DNF, the longest current streak in the series. The last time he failed to finish was at Talladega in Oct. 2002. ... Jeff Burton is the only Cup driver who doesn't have a DNF in his past 20 starts at Rockingham. ... Jimmie Johnson has been in the top 10 of the points standings for 70 consecutive weeks, the longest current streak and the ninth longest in NASCAR history. Should Johnson stay in the top 10 all season he would pass Richard Petty for sixth place on the all-time list.(The State)
    UPDATE: looks like #48-Johnson's 70 race streak will end today as he was involved in an accident at the Rock. Labonte increased his DNF streak to 44. Burton failed to finish a race at Rockingham in 20 races.(2-22-2004)

  • Droppin' out early....ya think? UPDATE: #09-Joe Ruttman, #80-Andy Hillenburg, #46-Carl Long and #72-Kirk Shelmerdine aren't here [Rockignham] to race. They're here to make sure there were 43 cars to line up for the start. If they go out early because of a "vibration," it'll be their pagers vibrating to tell them the checks they're getting from NASCAR to show up have cleared.(), lets start a field-filler tracker on Sunday and see what they each do.(2-22-2004)
    AND drivers refute - Although Hillenburg admits the guarantee of a paycheck -- last place here a year ago paid almost $45,000 -- he wants to finish the race and go on to attempt to make at least 20 events this year. "I don't want to look like we're trying to capitalize on anything, but this is our window of opportunity," he said. "We're not here to go two laps and try to get a check. We're here to do the best we can." But Shelmerdine doesn't share the same outlook. Although he's taking the season one race at a time and hopes to be at the Las Vegas event in two weeks, he has no delusional ideas of winning. "If we get lapped twice in the first 100 miles, there's probably not much point to finishing the race," Shelmerdine said. "But we're not going to park on the first lap. We didn't come here to park; we came here to do the best we can."(
    AND II: "With this short spoiler on it, and if other cars get around me and get me out of control, then I'll just pull it in because it's no use of me going out there and wrecking and taking out some people with a lot on the line," Long said. "If I can get tires [from other teams] and the car drives good, I'll race all day long." Hillenburg admits his team is not as prepared as it needs to be. He said the team hadn't planned to make its season debut until Atlanta next month. That changed after questions surfaced whether this race would have a full field. Hillenburg said the team needed to come here to earn series points, which could help it earn provisionals and make future races. "There's a small window of opportunity to get back into this garage for a few teams and that window will probably be closed by Atlanta," he said. "More cars will come."(Roanoke Times), this is in no way a SLAM on these drivers, just some notes I found, nothing wrong with keeping their name in the press. Hope thay all finish and do well.(2-22-2004)
    UPDATE: The so called field-fillers? (where they started): and where they finished at the Rock:
    #80-Hillenburg (43): 34th, -17 laps
    #46-Long (42): 38th and out after a spectacular accident
    #72-Shelmerdine (41): 42nd and out after 20 laps
    #09-Ruttman (40): 43rd and out after 2 laps.(2-22-2004)

  • Happy Hour for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway is over. Practice was not televised LIVE but will air on FX via tape after the Busch Series Race, approx 3:00pm/et. The top five fastest:
    #2-Wallace 150.549
    #42-McMurray 150.185
    #97-Busch 150.098
    #12-Newman 149.932
    #22-Wimmer 149.797
    slowest was #72-Shelmerdine at 137.365
    #09-Ruttman and #80-Hillenburg did not practice.
    Best average speed was #16-Biffle at 144.462mph
    #2-Wallace ran the most laps at 74, followed by #77-Gaughan at 64. Least number of laps run [besdies the two with 0] was #46-Long at 10.
    See speeds at or

  • Saturday's 1st Practice is over: for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. The top five were:
    #2-Rusty Wallace 150.574
    #42-Jamie McMurray 150.086
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 149.376
    #12-Ryan Newman 149.315
    #19-Jeremy Mayfield 149.254
    slowest was #80-Andy Hillenburg at 136.231
    Three drivers did not practice: 09-Joe Ruttman, 72-Kirk Shelmerdine, 46-Carl Long
    See speeds at or

  • StockCarFans.Com - Ramblings - Rockingham: It was Ryan Newman's day today....and once again it wasn't in much doubt. #12-Newman was faster than Jamie McMurray in his Alltel Dodge at North Carolina Speedway this a whopping .165 seconds. He sped around this 1 mile oval in 23.398 sec (156.475 mph) to grab his third Bud pole at this old place and 19th of his Nextel Cup career. That's a phenominal pole percentage (a new stat....PPP) of .232! And, that's waaaay above the Mendoza line.
    #9-Kasey Kahne (3rd) has his career-best starting spot. He started 27th last week in his debut.
    #2-Rusty Wallace (4th....and without any concrete in site) has his best starting spot since he had the outside pole at Dover last June.
    #43-Jeff Green (8th) has his best starting spot since he had the pole for the Daytona 500 in February of last year.
    #88-Dale Jarrett (9th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 6th at Talladega last October.
    #77-Brendan Gaughan (15th) has his career-best starting spot. He started 17th last week in his debut.
    #32-Ricky Craven (17th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 13th at Lowe's last October.
    #10-Scott Riggs (19th) has his career-best starting spot. He started 36th last week in his debut.
    We've got four drivers this weekend making their first starts in quite awhile....
    #09-Joe Ruttman (40th) is making his first start since the Daytona 500 in 1995! He started 19th and finished 27th that day.
    #72-Kirk Shelmerdine (41st) is making his first field since he started 41st and finished 42nd at Pocono in July of 2002.
    #46-Carl Long (42nd) has made his first grid since he started 39th and finished 43rd at Atlanta in October of 2002.
    #80-Andy Hillendurg (43rd) makes his first field since he started 43rd and finished 43rd at Martinsville in April of 2002.
    STREAKIN....Ryan Newman has 7 Top-10 starts in the last 8 races.
    No real Trouble Train this weekend. #59-Andy Belmont and #89-Morgan Shepherd both W/D'ed their cars before qualifying so all 43 cars that took a time made the event.(StockCarFans.Com Nextel Cup Newsletter)(2-21-2004)

  • Newman is back! #12-Ryan Newman won the pole for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway [The Rock] with a speed of 156.475mph, beating the outside pole sitter, #42-Jamie McMurray, by over a mph [155.379]. Dodge's own the first 4 starting spots. Two drivers, #89-Shepherd and #59-Belmont withdrew their entry's, so all 43 who made attempts made the race. Two used provisisonal [not charged this week, and was not charged at Daytona either] and three [#46-Long, #80-Hillenburg abd #72-Shelmerdine] got the last three positions by their speeds...not a provisional. Qualifying will RE-AIR on Speed Channel, Friday, Feb 20th at 10:00pm/et and on Saturday, Feb 21st at 2:00am/et.
    See my Jayski's Rockingham Qualifying Page for unofficial qualifying results.(2-20-2004)

  • Some Tidbits about the Rock: #88-Dale Jarrett won the 2003 Subway 400 at NCS/The Rock last year....starting 9th, where does Jarrett start on Sunday? 9th. Did ya know the following drivers have never lead a lap at the Rock?
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., best finish: 13th [11/2003] in 8 races; best start: 7th [first race there 2/2000]; starts 7th
    #29-Kevin Harvick, best finish: 14th [2/2001 first Cup start ever] in 6 races; best start: 23rd [11/2001]; starts 32nd
    #38-Elliott Sadler, best finish: 9th [2/2003] in 10 races; best start: 11th [2/2003]; starts 25th
    #31-Robby Gordon, best finish: 11th [11/2002] in 10 races; best start: 7th [10/1996]; starts 34th.
    (NASCAR Stats Services)(2-20-2004)

  • Provisionals for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway were used by:
    #1-John Andretti (30th in 2003 Owners Points)
    #09-Joe Ruttman (44th in 2003 Owners Points)
    #72-Kirk Shelmerdine (no 2003 Owners Points, so by 2004 race attempts, 1)
    #46-Carl Long (no 2003 Owners Points, no 2004 attempts, by speed 148.739
    #80-Andy Hillenburg (no 2003 Owners Points, no 2004 attempts, by speed 146.859)
    As with Daytona, Provisionals are NOT charged this week since there were not 43 cars eligible to use provisionals in the regualr fashion [top 45 in 2003 Owners Points for the first 4 races]. For rules and info, see my ProvisionalLand Page.(2-20-2004)

    Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results for Rockingham:
    Jayski's Rockingham Qualifying Page


  • Pole Progression at Rockingham: (who had the pole first, who got it next and who ended up with it)
    #43-Jeff Green, 1st out to qualify, 154.117mph, starts 8th
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 8th out, 154.318, starts 5th
    #2-Rusty Wallace, 24th out, 154.644, starts 4th
    #12-Ryan Newman, 25th out, 156.475, starts 1st

  • Rookie of the Year Candidates: how fast were they and where do they start:
    #9-Kasey Kahne, 154.814, starts 3rd
    #10-Scott Riggs, 153.297, starts 19th
    #22-Scott Wimmer, 153.413, starts 31st
    #25-Brian Vickers, 153.169, starts 20th
    #30-Johnny Sauter, 152.290, starts 36th
    #77-Brendan Gaughan, 153.748, starts 15th

  • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
    Chevy: #24-Jeff Gordon, 154.318, starts 5th
    Dodge: #12-Ryan Newman, 156.475, starts 1st
    Ford: #88-Dale Jarrett, 154.078, starts 9th
    Pontiac: no longer supports, one team using it withdrew
    Toyota - oops, not yet.......(2-20-2004)

  • Only 38 Entires for the Rock? UPDATE 5 withdraws: After getting only 38 entry forms for next week's race at Rockingham, N.C., NASCAR and speedway officials worked the telephones this week trying to get part-time teams to show up. A lack of sponsorship has reduced the number of full-time teams to 36, meaning a lot of fields in the future might include teams that show up just to collect last-place money.(Auguast Chronicle)(2-12-2004)
    UPDATE make it 39: ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Andy Belmont has entered the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event next weekend at North Carolina Motor Speedway. Belmont, a former Cup competitor during the early 90s withdrew his entry from the Daytona 500 to concentrate on Rockingham. Belmont will pilot the #59 Continental Fire and Safety Ford Taurus.(Catchfence)(2-13-204)
    UPDATE 2 NASCAR offering $$? Facing short fields at Rockingham, Las Vegas and other tracks this spring, NASCAR officials are reported to be offering some teams $30,000 to $40,000 a race to bring cars to fill the fields, sources say.(Winston Salem Journal), hmmm...maybe I can bring my old Tbird.....(2-14-2004)
    UPDATE 3 ENTRY LIST posted: The Entry list is currently at 44, including #09-Joe Ruttman, #14-Larry Foyt, #39-Larry Gunselman [in a Jay Robinson Racing Chevy], #46-Carl Long, #59-Andy Belmont, #72-Kirk Shelmerdine, and #90-Andy Hillenburg. #1-Andretti is not on the list but is supposedly going to run the race, and have heard that #89-Morgan Shepherd may enter the race. Also missing from the list are #7-Jimmy Spencer and #74-Tony Raines. UP to 45: so much for a short field,'s entry list has #89-Morgan Shepherd listed and has Andy Hillenberg in the #80 Hover Motorsports car, not the #90 of Junie Donlavey, so that makes it 45 cars. Still no #1-Andretti.
    For the entry list [and 3 links to the list at other sites] click here - Jayski's Subway 400 Entry List.(2-17-2004)
    UPDATE 4: #1-John Andretti has been added to the Subway 400 Entry list. Fox Sport Net's Totally NASCAR reports that DEI spokesperson says a full time sponsor is not far away from happening for the team. The entry list is at 45 after Larry Gunselman withdrew. Ultra Motorsports' #7 Dodge and Bill Davis Racing's #23 Dodge competed during Speedweeks 2004 at Daytona International Speedway but have not entered at Rockingham.(2-18-2004)
    UPDATE 5: #59-Andy Belmont and #89-Morgan Shepherd have withdrawn their entries.(2-20-2004)

  • Friday practice for the Subway 400 at Rockingham is over. At the completion of practice, the the top five were:
    #12-Newman, 153.935
    #9-Kahne, 153.838
    #19-Mayfield, 153.632
    #42-Mayfield, 153.600
    #2-Wallace, 153.272
    #59-Andy Belmont crashed between turns 3 and 4, flattening the drivers side of the car [only made 2 laps]. Belmont was not injured, no word if he has a backup car.
    Slowest is #72-Kirk Shelmerdine was was slowest at 141.386mph. .Belmont is listed at 126.953. #89-Shepherd has no speed/time listed.
    For speeds, see or

  • Qualifying Order Links are up for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. 45 cars listed for 43 spots. First driver scheduled to go out is #43-Jeff Green with STP on the hood, last scheduled to go out is #88-Dale Jarrett. See above for the links and more info.(2-20-2004)

  • Didja Know? There have been 15 different Bud Pole winners in the 18 races at Rockingham since 1995. Mark Martin (fall 1999, fall 1998 and spring 1997) Jeff Gordon (spring 1995 and spring 2001) and Ryan Newman (fall 2002 and fall 2003) are the only repeat Bud Pole winners in the 18-race period.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(2-19-2004)

  • No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A

  • Jayski's - 2003 Winston Cup Race Results Page

  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

  • How to break a tie during qualifying?(same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers).

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites:


  • Tix Still Available for Races at the Rock: North Carolina Speedway is a 1.017-mile superspeedway located in the Sandhills of North Carolina and has hosted NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events since 1965. The February 22 Subway 400 will be the series' first appearance in the Carolinas of the 2004 season. Great seats are still available, so order now! Qualifying and practice for both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series takes place on Friday, February 20. The Goody's Headache Powder 200 NASCAR Busch Series event takes the green flag on Saturday, February 21 followed by the Subway 400 on Sunday, February 22. Children 12 and under will be admitted FREE to the General Admission section for Qualifying on Friday and Saturday's Goody's Headache Powder 200 when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets may be purchased by calling the North Carolina Speedway ticket office at (866) 451-RACE or by visiting online at

  • Diamond Rio To Perform National Anthem at the Rock: Arista Records national recording artist Diamond Rio is scheduled to sing the national anthem prior to the February 22 Subway 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at North Carolina Speedway. The bands debut project, Diamond Rio, was released in 1991 and their hit single, "Meet In The Middle", made history as the first single by a country band to hit #1 on all 3 national charts. Seven more albums have followed all earning gold or platinum certification. The four-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year has sold over eight million records, received 13 Grammy nominations and boast hits like "One More Day", "I Believe" and "Beautiful Mess", all multi-week #1 singles. Their current album, Completely, is a follow-up to One More Day and offers a wide array of styles, including pop-ballads, jazz, hardcore country and honky-tonk. The single, "I Believe", scored a Grammy nomination this year for Best Country Performance by a Duo of Group. Following a tour stop in Fayetteville the day prior, Diamond Rio has been hitting the road touring, and what better place to stop than at "The Rock".(NCS Site)(2-16-2004)

  • Goody's Headache Powder Sponsors Busch Series Race: North Carolina Speedway and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare are teaming up to host the Goody's Headache Powder 200 NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, February 21 at "The Rock" - the series' first appearance in the Carolinas of the 2004 season. The brand's relationship with NASCAR dates back to 1977 when Goody's became one of the sanctioning body's first non-automotive sponsors. Today it continues its status as the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR." The weekend kicks off Friday, February 20 with practice and qualifying for both the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series. The 197-lap Goody's Headache Powder 200 Busch Series race begins at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 21, and the Subway 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series takes the green flag Sunday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m. Great seats are still available, so order now! To purchase tickets, or for more information on North Carolina Speedway events, please call the speedway ticket office at (866) 451-RACE or visit us online at Carolina Speedway PR)(2-11-2004)

  • The Rock For Bruton? UPDATE Denied: The news from Texas is more talk that the France family may be proposing a sale of North Carolina Speedway to Bruton Smith, with the tacit understanding that Smith would move that Cup tour date to Texas Motor Speedway in 2005, possibly for a September or October race weekend. In turn the Francis Ferko anti-trust case against NASCAR over that second Cup date would be quietly dropped. Sources close to the situation said the movement in that direction began last August after Bill France Jr.'s deposition in the case. Shortly after that deposition, Brian France was given the reins of the family business. It's unclear when that deposition might be made public.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-24-2004)
    UPDATE: Bruton Smith said he is not currently interested in a deal with Rockingham Motor Speedway in an effort to bring a second Nextel Cup race. Nor is he interested in building a track in Seattle. However, Smith is interested in the New York/New Jersey area. In fact, he has been for years.(Sheveport Times)(1-29-2004)

  • Amtrak Offers Rockingham Package: North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham says Amtrak is again offering its "Roundtrip Rail" packages for the Feb. 22 Subway 400 Nextel Cup race, with departures from Raleigh and Cary, N.C. The packages are $60 plus the cost of race tickets. Details and reservations are available by calling the track at (866) 451-RACE or at the track's Web site, Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-23-2004)

  • Buy a Ticket, get a Flag: The North Carolina Speedway is giving away checkered flags to those who buy a $65 ticket in the Hamlet High-rise grandstand for February’s Subway 400 race. The flag commemorates NASCAR Winston Cup Series champions who have won at "The Rock." For more information, call the speedway at (866) 451-RACE.(12-2-2003)

  • Subway Back at the Rock in 2004: Subway has extended its sponsorship of Rockingham's lone Cup race with a multi-year agreement that begins next season.(Roanoke Times)(11-9-2003)

  • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - North Carolina Speedway


  • More on the short field at the Rock: There won't be 43 solid Nextel Cup teams this weekend at Rockingham or the next weekend at Las Vegas. As of last week, only 38 teams had filed entry forms for Rockingham [been told it is up to 44now], and just 36 cars had full-time sponsors. And according to a variety of sources in the garage, NASCAR was working feverishly to fill the field. But the money isn't there to go racing. Just ask Jim Smith, who is skiing in Utah this weekend. He refused to continue racing the #7 Ultra Motorsports Dodge out of his own pocket when he couldn't find a company to subsidize it. Brett Bodine recently sold a car for Rockingham and would like to dump the rest of his inventory to pay off debt.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(2-17-2004)

  • Long at the Rock: the Carl Long site is reporting that Long has entered the upcoming Subway 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at North Carolina Speedway. He will be driving the #46 Dodge for Glenn Racing. The team is looking for sponsorship. For those who want to help Carl in this effort, he asks for you to please contact him. Along with running the Nextel Cup race, Carl will still be driving the #83 Ford for Long Brothers Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Rockingham.(2-16-2004)

  • See the 2004 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.



  • Parts Confiscated: NASCAR inspectors confiscated several items during Thursday's pre-qualifying inspections at Rockingham. Among the items taken were unapproved foam for fuel cell bladders from the #89 Ford of Morgan Shepherd and the #9 Dodge of Kasey Kahne. In addition a lap belt was taken from the #88 Ford of Dale Jarrett because its expiration date had passed.()(2-20-2004)

  • Tires at the Rock:
    This is the first time this specific combination of Goodyear Eagles will be used in NASCAR competition . . . the previous combination of left- and right-side for Rockingham were in place for the last three seasons . . . this is the first of three times Nextel Cup teams will compete on these tires in 2004 . . . Darlington (both races) is the other NASCAR track where teams will run this same combination this season . . . both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series cars will compete on the same tires this weekend . . . as on all ovals longer than one mile, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Rockingham.(2-19-2004)

  • Some Notes on the new rules: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Director John Darby offered up the following synopsis, for this week’s competitive landscape: “Rockingham will be the first race where competitors will have the shorter spoilers compared to ’03. As far as tires go, Rockingham is typically known for tire wear. But it’s a misconception that all the tires we use at every track this year are softer. There will be places where the [compound] isn’t much different [like at Rockingham]. The tires will be different at tracks where Goodyear determined a compound change was warranted.” Darby said Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 5-7) will be the next track where a decidedly softer tire will be used. … To rehash the new spoiler rules, with the exception of races at Daytona and Talladega, all 2004 cars in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series now have spoilers 5 1/2 inches tall, a reduction of three-quarters of an inch from the start of 2003.(NASCAR PR)(2-19-2004)

  • Johnson's streak at 70: Jimmie Johnson extended the longest current streak for consecutive weeks in the NASCAR Top 10 to 70 weeks with his 5th place finish at the season opening Daytona 500. It is the 9th longest streak in the modern era (1972-present). Should Johnson remain in the NASCAR Top 10 the entire 2004 season, he will pass Richard Petty and take sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list. An interesting note is that the season-opening race put a halt to all but two of the streaks, the exception being Dale Earnhardt’s record streak of 174 weeks and Sterling Marlin’s 11th-ranked run (66 weeks).(Team Lowe’s Racing PR)(2-15-2004)

  • 43 and counting: after finishing the Daytona 500, #5-Terry Labonte is now carrying a string of 43 consecutive races without a DNF (did not finish), the longest current streak in NEXTEL Cup. The modern-era record is 56 straight, set by Jeff Gordon in 2001-02. Labonte was one of only two drivers who completed all 36 races last season, the other being Kevin Harvick.(HMS PR)(2-15-2004)



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