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2004 Mountain Dew Southern 500

The 2004 Mountain Dew Southern 500, the 55th running of the event, was a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race held on November 14, 2004 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. Contested at 367 laps on the 1.366 mile (2.198 km) speedway, it was the thirty-fifth race of the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season.

2004 Mountain Dew Southern 500
Race details[1]
Race 35 of 36 in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season
Layout of Darlington Raceway
Layout of Darlington Raceway
Date November 14, 2004 (2004-November-14)
Official name Mountain Dew Southern 500
Location Darlington Raceway, Darlington County, South Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility
1.366 mi (2.198 km)
Distance 367 laps, 501.322 mi (806.800 km)
Weather Temperatures hovering around 44.8 °F (7.1 °C); wind speeds up to 13.8 miles per hour (22.2 km/h)[2]
Average speed 125.044 miles per hour (201.239 km/h)
Attendance 70,000
Pole position
Driver Roush Racing
Time no time trials
Most laps led
Driver Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 155
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network NBC
Announcers Allen Bestwick, Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach, Jr.

For the 2004 season, a shuffling of the NASCAR schedule saw the race move to November. Track management believed the November date would allow for cooler, more comfortable weather for fans, who had increasingly voiced concerns about the hot, humid, weather. In addition, it meant the race would be part of the new Chase for the Nextel Cup. Rockingham lost its fall date to Fontana, and the Pop Secret 500 was moved to the prestigious Labor Day weekend date.

Qualifying was cancelled due to rain and the starting lineup was set by owner's points. Kurt Busch was the points leader and sat on the front row. Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports won the race.


Layout of Darlington Raceway, the track where the race was held.

Darlington Raceway, nicknamed by many NASCAR fans and drivers as "The Lady in Black" or "The Track Too Tough to Tame" and advertised as a "NASCAR Tradition", is a race track built for NASCAR racing located near Darlington, South Carolina. It is of a unique, somewhat egg-shaped design, an oval with the ends of very different configurations, a condition which supposedly arose from the proximity of one end of the track to a minnow pond the owner refused to relocate. This situation makes it very challenging for the crews to set up their cars' handling in a way that will be effective at both ends.

The track, Darlington Raceway, is a four-turn 1.366 miles (2.198 km) oval.[3] The track's first two turns are banked at twenty-five degrees, while the final two turns are banked two degrees lower at twenty-three degrees.[3] The front stretch (the location of the finish line) and the back stretch is banked at six degrees.[3] Darlington Raceway can seat up to 60,000 people.[3]

Top 10 resultsEdit

Race statisticsEdit

  • Time of race: 4:00:33
  • Average Speed: 125.044 miles per hour (201.239 km/h)
  • Pole Speed: no time trials
  • Cautions: 8 for 47 laps
  • Margin of Victory: 0.959
  • Lead changes: 27
  • Percent of race run under caution: 12.8%
  • Average green flag run: 35.6 laps


  1. ^ "2004 Mountain Dew Southern 500". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  2. ^ Weather information at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  3. ^ a b c d "Darlington Raceway". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-05-07.