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UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 Stats

Time of Race: 3 hours, 18 minutes, 32 seconds
Average Speed: 121.038 mph
Margin of Victory: 1.661 Seconds
Caution Flags 10 for 46 laps: Laps 13-19 (#8,18,21,25,49 accident turn 1); 60-63 (Oil on track); 66-69 (#17,20,24,31,38,99 turn 4); 87-90 (#11,40,49 accident turn 4); 102-107 (#9 accident turn 4); 126-129 (Debris); 176-180 (Debris); 195-198 (#10 spun turn 4); 207-210 (Debris); 225-228 (#66 accident turn 2).
Lead Changes 25 among 12 drivers: R. Newman (Pole); G. Biffle 1-14; M. Wallace 15; K. Petty 16-17; M. Shepherd 18-19; K. Busch 20-22; G. Biffle 23-60; S. Marlin 61; T. Kvapil 62-64; R. Newman 65-87; K. Kahne 88; R. Newman 89-91; T. Kvapil 92-97; R. Newman 98-102; D. Blaney 103-109; K. Busch 110-146; J. Johnson 147-177; J. Green 178; R. Newman 179-182; J. Johnson 183-195; R. Newman 196-200; J. Johnson 201-207; R. Newman 208-210; J. Johnson 211; R. Newman 212; J. Johnson 213-267.

INSIDE LINE
Jimmie Johnson continued to be the hottest driver in NEXTEL Cup Series racing on Sunday by driving to his 15th career victory in the UAW-DaimlerChrylser 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Johnson took the lead from Ryan Newman on a lap 214 restart and drove his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to the victory, his fifth in the last nine series events dating back to the end of the 2004 season.

KEYS TO VICTORY LANE
Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus made several adjustments to the car during early race pit stops and had the best handling, and fastest car on the track, most of the second half.

HIGHWAY TO HELL
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was involved in an early race crash with Brian Vickers, which Junior took full responsibility for causing. The end result was a 42nd place finish for Junior, on the heells of his 32nd place run in Fontana two weeks ago. Earnhardt, Jr. is now 27th in the NEXTEL Cup Series point standings, the furthest he’s been in the championship points since entering the series in 2000.

HERO TO ZERO
Kasey Kahne was an early race favorite after starting seventh. But the sophomore driver lost control of his Evernham Motorsports Dodge on lap 154 and crashed hard in the fourth turn. Kahne was credited with a 38th place finish.

ZERO TO HERO
Kevin Harvick awaits the sure fine and penalty he and crew chief Todd Berrier will be handed down from NASCAR on Tuesday for their fuel tank cheating scam in Friday's qualifying session. After his fourth place qualifying run was wiped out by the penalty, Harvick was forced to start 42nd. But he was a man on a mission and drove his GM Goodwrench Chevrolet home to a solid and impressive fifth place finish.

ROOKIE OF THE RACE
Kyle Busch thrilled his hometown family and friends with an eye-popping performance all weekend, that culminated in his career-best second place finish on Sunday. Maybe best of all for Kyle, he beat older brother Kurt by a spot. Easter dinner at the Busch household may get interesting.

PIT STOPS
  • This is Johnson's fifth victory in the past nine races. Johnson scored top-10 finishes in each of those nine races.
  • Johnson became the sixth different winner in eight races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • Kyle Busch (second) posted his career-best finish. It was his second race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was the highest finishing Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender for the second time in 2005.
  • Kurt Busch (third) scored his second top-10 finish in four races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch begins the 2005 season with three top-five finishes. Busch has scored top-five finishes in four straight races, since Homestead last fall and the longest top-five streak of his career. Busch has scored 12 top-10 finishes in the past 13 races.
  • Jeff Gordon (fourth) scored his third top-five finish in seven races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gordon has scored two top-10 finishes in three races this season.
  • Kevin Harvick (fifth) scored his second top-10 finish in five races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Harvick has two top-10 finishes this season.
  • Matt Kenseth (eighth) scored his first top-10 finish in the past 12 races.
  • Mark Martin (30th) has been running at the finish in 25 consecutive races, the longest current streak.
  • Rusty Wallace (12th) has posted three top-15 finishes this season.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (42nd) posted his worst finish since he finished 42nd at Atlanta in April 2002.
  • Robby Gordon failed to qualify for the Daytona 500 and has finished 35th and 39th in the two races that he has competed in this season.
  • Just two races remain before the 2005 owner points at Martinsville set the top-35 marker that guarantees making the field for a race. Currently several drivers will need strong performances at Atlanta and Bristol to move back into the top 35. Teams currently ranked outside the top 35 in owner points include those of: Bobby Labonte, Kasey Kahne, Ricky Rudd and Robby Gordon.
  • The 10 caution periods and 46 caution laps were both a record for the UAW-Diamler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • The 25 lead changes and 20 cars on the lead lap tied the track record.
  • The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Leader Bonus will be worth $10,000 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

    LUG NUTS
  • Viva Las Vegas. A capacity crowd of more than 125,000 was on hand for the third race of the season and eighth Cup race held at LVMS. Track officials were obviously pleased with the crowd and talk has again shifted into high gear about the possibility of a second Cup race in Vegas, but the date would have to come from another SMI track. An erroneous Internet report had Atlanta shifting a date to Las Vegas, but that was sternly denied by Atlanta president Ed Clark. It's unlikely Bristol, Texas or Charlotte will lose a date, Infineon perhaps?

  • Track announcer Robin "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Leach" referred to Morgan Shepherd's "Racing for Jesus" sponsored car as the "Racing for Hey-Sues" car, taking on the Spanish pronunciation. Santa Maria!

    GARAGE TALK
    "I guess it shows how much work we have left to do in evangelism when somebody who can tell you all about the rich and famous has trouble with the Son of God's name. I thought for a moment he had just gotten in from the Mexico City (Busch Series) race week."

    Morgan Shepherd, after track announcer mispronounced his "Racing for Jesus" sponsorship.

    "Vickers had been on my ass for about three laps, so I was going to let him go, I just got into him. I don't know what the hell happened over there."

    Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

    "He changed the way he drove the racecar when he was up next to me, so I changed the way I drove the racecar when I was up next to him. That's the way he wants to race, so that's the way I'll race him."

    Ryan Newman on racing Jeff Gordon

    RACINGONE RATING
    On our scale of one to ten Vegas Showgirls, with ten being, well a ten....let's give this one a six. A little botox and a tummy tuck is in order after a caution-filled race with the most drama coming before the race (Harvick's qualifying cheat), early (Earnhardt, Jr.'s crash) and after (the post-inspection problems for the Hendrick 1-2 duo). Stay tuned on Tuesday as NASCAR deals with Harvick, Johnson and Busch.
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