MRN Flashback: 2005 USG Sheetrock 400

D.Earnhardt Jr.

In July 2005, Dale Earnhardt Jr. helped Chevrolet establish a foothold at Chicagoland Speedway with his 16th career win. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

Since the Sprint Cup Series began competing at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001, Chevrolet has emerged as the dominant manufacturer with eight wins in 12 races.

And on July 10, 2005, Dale Earnhardt Jr. helped the manufacturer establish its foothold on the Joliet, Ill., oval with his 16th career victory.  "Junior" steadily worked his way through the 267-lap event from the No. 25 starting spot, grabbing his first … and only … lead of the race from Scott Wimmer, and keeping the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet in front over the final 11 laps.

Matt Kenseth led a race-high 176 laps and finished second, .291 seconds behind Earnhardt.  Pole sitter Jimmie Johnson placed third with Brian Vickers and Tony Stewart completing the top five.

Kyle Busch was the highest-placed rookie, in 14th, driving the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.  The race featured 17 lead changes among 12 drivers, with 10 cautions for 47 laps.

The win was the only one that season for Earnhardt, who finished 19th in the final Cup Series standings.  Stewart would go on to win the second of his three titles, beating Greg Biffle by 35 points.

NASCAR returns to Chicagoland Speedway this week for the 13th running of its annual Sprint Cup Series race, known today as the GEICO 400.

Visit MotorRacingNetwork.com on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 2005 USG Sheetrock 400 from Chicagoland Speedway, anchored by Barney Hall and Joe Moore.  Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – will feature a classic race broadcast each week on “Throwback Thursday” throughout the 2013 season at MotorRacingNetwork.com.

Photos

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