TPG Racing Network Presents the 2005 NASCAR Mock Season

Jun 12, 2022
Reaction score
Welcome everybody, this is Ian White with TPG Racing Network, and I'll be your presenter for the upcoming NEXTEL Cup series season.

Last year saw an exhilarating finish to the first ever Chase For The NEXTEL Cup, with Kurt Busch winning the title despite a wheel falling off mid race. This season is shaping up to be equally as exciting, so lets get down to the news.

The major announcement for 2005 is the implementation of a new "Top 35 rule." This basically guarantees any team in the top 35, starting from race 6 onwards, to start the race no matter their qualifying time. For the first 5 races of the season, the top 35 will be set by 2004 owners standings.

Another change is the introduction of a body for the Dodge teams, with the introduction of the Charger, with a unique anteater shape designed for extra downforce.

Finally North Carolina Speedway has been removed from the schedule, while California Speedway takes over the labor day date from Darlington.

Team Power Rankings

Roush Racing

Last year was a strong showing for 'The Cat in the Hats' race team, with them bringing home their second title in 2 years. This year they hope to improve on what was already a great season by putting all 5 cars into the Chase For The Nextel Cup, a bold goal, but one Jack Roush says the team is more than capable of.

The main change at the Roush camp involved Carl Edwards, who joined on late in 2004 replacing the outgoing Jeff Burton. The #99 team spent most of last season looking for funding, but with sponsorship from Ortho, Office Depot, Scotts, among others, that shouldn't be an issue this time around. Unfortunately Edwards will be ineligible for ROTY honors, as he ran too many races the year prior.

The rest of the team remains in order, with Reigning Champ Kurt Busch expected to go for title #2, while Biffle, Kenseth, and Martin fill out the rest of the core. Martin in particular has announced his retirement from the Cup series at the end of the year, hoping to go out with one last bang. Rumors are already swirling about who will replace Martin at Roush, but that is yet to be seen.

Hendrick Motorsports
2004 was a tale of two teams for HMS, with the #24 /#48 camp putting on a strong showing, both within 16 points of the title. 4 time hopes this year will be the year he adds title #5 to his resume, while Johnson is looking for his first.

On the other hand, the #5 and #25 teams struggled throughout the year, with Vickers and Labonte finishing 25th and 26th respectively. This year Hendrick has brought up Rookie phenom Kyle Busch up from the Busch series, the hotly debated Las Vegas native sporting the potential to surpass his already established older brother. Vickers stays put, hoping his sophomore season will see a marked improvement in performance. Terry Labonte will run a partial schedule in a 3rd car doing R&D work

Joe Gibbs Racing
Steady at the wheel was JGR in 2004, with Tony Stewart doing as Tony Stewart does, 2 wins and a 6th place points finish, a stat line he hope to improve upon, as he aims for title #2. His teammate on the other hand had one of his worst seasons in years, a mid season slump late into the summer spoiling his Chase hopes, and even more surprising, going win less for the first time since he joined Gibbs back in 1995. Labonte hopes 2004 was just a small lapse, and he can return to his winning ways this year.

But the 18 and 20 cars are joined this year by a new #11 car, debuted late last year, and now upgraded to full time status with Jason Leffler at the helm. Leffler hasn't attempted a full cup schedule since his rookie year with Ganassi back in 2001, but hopes a few extra years in the lower ranks will give him the edge needed to finally establish himself amongst the NEXTEL Cup ranks.

Evernham Motorsports
The team run by one of NASCAR's greatest crew chiefs continues to show marked improvement year on year. Jeremy Mayfield made the chase with last minute heroics at Richmond, while Kasey Kahne, who handily took ROTY honors, repeatedly came close to win after win, and hopes to finally break through this season. The new Dodge Charger body style promises improved downforce, and the team hopes to have both teams in Victory Lane for the first time, and if he can get them both in the Chase? Even Better. Bill Elliott will continue to do R&D work for the team in a select few starts, but not much is expected on that front.

Penske Racing
The Captain's 2004 fortunes were not exactly as hoped. While he did manage to get one car into the chase, inconsistant performance prevented the team from truly reaching what they could have. This is evident in Ryan Newman, who scored 9 poles in the #12 Alltel Dodge, but struggled to finish races, only running at the end of 27 of 36 events. If Newman wants to truly establish himself as a title threat, he needs to backup his Saturday speed with more consistency on Sunday.

Rusty Wallace meanwhile had a somewhat disappointing year, as despite a win, he only managed 16th in the year end tally. 2005 will mark his swansong in the Cup Series, and Rusty hopes to end his career on a triumphant high rather than a lowly whimper.

The #77 features it's second Rookie Driver in 2 years, as Brendan Gaughan was unceremoniously dropped at the end of 2004 for Travis Kvapil. The Wisconsinite has proved his worth in the Truck series, and that performance caught the eye of Roger Penske. The hope is Kvapil comes out the the gate better than his predecessor did, as the Captain is looking for results, and his sponsors do as well.

Robert Yates Racing
2004 was a pretty run of the mill year for Robert Yates' 2 car operation. While not at the heights they reached at the start of the decade, you still can't count them out either. Elliott Sadler took over the reigns as top dog in the organization, securing 2 wins, momentum he hopes to maintain coming into this season. Dale Jarrett meanwhile failed to find victory lane for the first time since 1992, though despite that he had a markedly improved season compared to his woeful 2003 campaign, and the veteran may still have tricks up his sleeves yet.

Dale Earnhardt Inc
A true tale of two teams, The son of the late Dale Earnhardt was well within the thick of the title hunt, and many say he would have had it if it were not for a penalty for cursing and a dreadful two weeks at Martinsvile and Atlanta. Michael Waltrip on the other hand regressed majorly, continuing to struggle to find speed on a weekly basis, and rumor has it he is on the hot seat if he fails to pick up the pace, it's Chase or Bust for the #15 crew. DEI has swapped the teams around, hoping to improve the parity amongst the organization but time will tell if the move will produce results.

Chip Ganassi Racing
Jamie McMurray was the standout of the season, being by far and away the best of the rest, and putting up stats that put even some Chasers to shame. Unfortunately it could be said to be too little to late, but on the other hand, the #42 crew has a lot of optimism coming into 2005. The rest of the team is a question mark though, as Sterling Marlin hasn't seemed the same since his accident late in 2002, with 9 DNF's and a disappointing 21st place finish in points. Casey Mears meanwhile improved substantially over his dismal 2003 Rookie Campaign, but that being said, performed roughly the same to Marlin. The team hopes he can find his footing and finally break out in 2005.

Richard Childress Racing
The 2004 season seemed like 2002 all over again, with the team overall struggling for speed, and not scoring a single win over the course of the year. Kevin Harvick was their best driver by far, with a respectable 14th place points finish, but with the promise the replacement for the late Dale Earnhardt has shown in the past, more is to be expected.

The 31 team has a new driver in Jeff Burton, who joined the #30 team midway through the season after a split from Roush, taking the seat that Johnny Sauter started the season in. For 2005, he takes up Robby Gordon's old post, the rides former driver starting his own team. Burton showed some decent form late last year, so a good season is definitely on the cards.

The #30 car meanwhile gets renumbered to #07, with Dave Blaney returning to the seat, having run the car between Sauter and Burton. Jack Daniels graces the hood of the rechristened ride, though overall performance is up in the air. Blaney isn't a bad driver, but this team has yet to see regular success, and many think the Buckeye Bullet is a stopgap rather than a permanent solution.

MB2 Motorsports
The Nelson Bowers owned effort continues to be a mid pack staple. Joe Nemechek brought the team it's second ever victory, along with 2 poles and a respectable 19th place points finish to show for it. Rookie teammate Scott Riggs didn't have as smooth of a time, even racking up a DNQ, but with a spot in the top 35 in owners points guaranteed, that shouldn't be an issue unless things go catastrophically wrong.

This year the goal is another win for Nemechek, while Riggs just hopes to improve his results. Road race ace Boris Said will be driving a 3rd car in select races, and is expected to be competitive on the Road Courses at least.

Wood Brothers Racing
2004 was standard fare at the Wood Brothers camp, with Ricky Rudd continuing to put in consistent, if not spectacular results. Though that being said, Rudd almost won at Kansas, being passed at the line by Joe Nemechek in a true battle of the underdogs. Rudd still has race winning potential even in his old age, but the question is on if the equipment can carry him there.

Bill Davis Racing
2005 is expected to be yet another dud year, and with little factory support, the expectations are measured for this team. Focus right now is clearly on the Truck series effort, while the cup team is currently treading water, waiting until Toyota hopefully comes up to the Cup series. Scott Wimmer is known to be a talented driver, but seems to have joined a team on a downward trajectory, with the hope of simply staying in the top 35.

Petty Enterprises
One of the sports legacy teams, Petty Enterprises 2004 was one to forget. Jeff Green only had a single top 10, and while Kyle Petty did improve over 2003, the jury is out if his heart is still in it. The team does have consistency on their side, and that might just be what the team needs to stay relevant.

Haas-CNC Racing
2004 saw a notable improvement in the teams second season, with the team showing pace at times, though the equipment quality was still suspect. They have a new driver this year in Mike Bliss, who has, similar to Leffler, been focused on the lower rungs since his Rookie year in 2000. The hope is high for the team to move up the ranks, as the definitely have the funding and manpower to do so.

BAM Racing
Owned by one of the only Female team owners in the sport, Beth Ann Morgenthau Racing, had a solid 2004 season, continuing to show slow but steady improvements year on year. With veteran Ken Schrader on for another year, and sponsorship staying course too, the team expects to stay in the top 35 and potentially crack the top 30

PPI Motorsports
Far from the highs of winning the 2003 Darlington race, the teams fortunes since have taken a nosedive. Ricky Craven was out midway through last season for Bobby Hamilton Jr., who showed some promise, but whether he is truly the right choice to turn the team around is uncertain.

Morgan-McClure Motorsports
Boy how the mighty have fallen. Once a team who was a regular threat on the plate tracks and more than capable of showing up everywhere else is a husk of it's former self. Last year saw a rotation of drivers as the team tried to find funding and results, and even worse for them, they and driver Mike Wallace will have to qualify for the seasons first 5 races, as they dont have a top 35 spot to rely on.

Mach 1 Motorsports
The team showed some flashes of performance in their limited 2004 campaign, but without a full time sponsor, the ceiling seems awfully limited. Randy Lajoie has been tapped to try and start the season off on the right foot.

R&J Racing
Another part time team from 2004 making the switch to a full time campaign in 2005, again no sponsor, though Kevin Lepage is a safe pair of hands, and shouldn't cause too much trouble.....

Peak Fitness Racing
What's essentially a rebranding of Hermie Sadlers part time operation under a new owner, Jeff Stec has placed his business on the hood of the car, but outside sponsorship is still on the table. Hermie Sadler should do respectable with what he has as he always does, but don't expect any heroics.

Robby Gordon Motorsports
Aside from the teams bombastic owner/driver, everything else about this organizations outlook for 2005 is a complete mystery. The team has full funding and a talented driver, but the question is can the notoriously fickle Gordon handle the pressure?

Front Row Motorsports
Another new team formed in late 2004, owned by restaurant franchisee Bob Jenkins (of no relation to the ESPN announcer) Front Row Motorsports has a sponsor for Daytona but nothing further. Stanton Barrett will run for ROTY.

Declared ROTY Challengers
#5 Kyle Busch - Hendrick Motorsports
#73 Eric McClure - Raabe Racing?
#77 Travis Kvapil - Penske Racing
#92 Stanton Barrett - Front Row Motorsports

EX1Saturday, Febuary 12thDaytona International SpeedwayBud Shootout
EX2Thursday, Febuary 17thDaytona International SpeedwayGatorade Duel #1
EX3Thursday, Febuary 17thDaytona International SpeedwayGatorade Duel #2
1Sunday, February 20thDaytona International SpeedwayDaytona 500
2Sunday, February 27thAuto Club SpeedwayAuto Club 500
3Sunday, March 13thLas Vegas Motor SpeedwayUAW-Daimler Chrysler…
4Sunday, March 20thAtlanta Motor SpeedwayGolden Corral 500
5Sunday, April 3rdBristol Motor SpeedwayFood City 500
6Sunday, April 10thMartinsville SpeedwayAdvance Auto Parts 5…
7Sunday, April 17thTexas Motor SpeedwaySamsung / Radio Shac…
8Saturday, April 23rdPhoenix RacewaySubway Fresh 500
9Sunday, May 1stTalladega SuperspeedwayAaron's 499
10Saturday, May 7thDarlington RacewayDodge Charger 500
11Saturday, May 14thRichmond RacewayChevy American Revol…
EX4Saturday, May 21stCharlotte Motor SpeedwayNextel All-Star Open
EX5Saturday, May 21stCharlotte Motor SpeedwayNextel All-Star Race
12Sunday, May 29thCharlotte Motor SpeedwayCoca-Cola 600
13Sunday, June 5thDover International SpeedwayMBNA RacePoints 400
14Sunday, June 12thPocono RacewayPocono 500
15Sunday, June 19thMichigan International Speedwa…Batman Begins 400
16Sunday, June 26thSonoma RacewayDodge / Save Mart 35…
17Saturday, July 2ndDaytona International SpeedwayPepsi 400
18Sunday, July 10thChicagoland SpeedwayUSG Sheetrock 400
19Sunday, July 17thNew Hampshire Motor SpeedwayNew England 300
20Sunday, July 24thPocono RacewayPennsylvania 500
21Sunday, August 7thIndianapolis Motor SpeedwayAllstate 400 At The …
22Sunday, August 14thWatkins Glen InternationalSirius Satellite Rad…
23Sunday, August 21stMichigan International Speedwa…GFS Marketplace 400
24Saturday, August 27thBristol Motor SpeedwaySharpie 500
25Sunday, September 4thAuto Club SpeedwaySony HD 500
26Saturday, September 10thRichmond RacewayChevy Rock & Rol…
27Sunday, September 18thNew Hampshire Motor SpeedwaySylvania 300
28Sunday, September 25thDover International SpeedwayMBNA NASCAR RacePoin…
29Sunday, October 2ndTalladega SuperspeedwayUAW-Ford 500
30Sunday, October 9thKansas SpeedwayBanquet 400 Presente…
31Saturday, October 15thCharlotte Motor SpeedwayUAW-GM Quality 500
32Sunday, October 23rdMartinsville SpeedwaySubway 500
33Sunday, October 30thAtlanta Motor SpeedwayBass Pro Shops MBNA …
34Sunday, November 6thTexas Motor SpeedwayDickies 500
35Sunday, November 13thPhoenix RacewayChecker Auto Parts 5…
36Sunday, November 20thHomestead Miami SpeedwayFord 400
Last edited:
Jun 12, 2022
Reaction score
Saturday, February 12th, 2005 - Daytona International Speedway - 2005 Budweiser Shootout

Welcome everybody to TPG Sports Networks broadcast of the 26th Annual Budweiser Shootout. I am your host, Ian White, and 21 of NASCAR's greatest are preparing to kick this season into gear!

Brian Vickers drew the Pole in the #25 GMAC/Ditech Chevrolet, with Jimmie Johnson on his flank. Several drivers are in one off rides for the Shootout, as Bill Elliott, whom usually runs for Ray Evernham's team, has partnered with Chip Ganassi to take the spot of Sterling Marlin, who is ineligible for the Shootout. This move reunites Million Dollar Bill with the famous Coors colors, piloting the renumbered #39 car for this race. Terry Labonte meanwhile will drive what is Kyle Busch's 500 backup car, re-wrapped with a #44 Dietech paint scheme for this race.

Now as they take the command to fire the engines, here is your starting lineup.

InsideRow 1Outside
25 Brian Vickers48 Jimmie Johnson
Row 2
39 Bill Elliott6 Mark Martin
Row 3
93 Geoffery Bodine44 Terry Labonte
Row 4
21 Ricky Rudd01 Joe Nemechek
Row 5
12 Ryan Newman9 Kasey Kahne
Row 6
16 Greg Biffle41 Casey Mears
Row 7
97 Kurt Busch24 Jeff Gordon
Row 8
88 Dale Jarrett8 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Row 9
19 Jeremy Mayfield2 Rusty Wallace
Row 10
20 Tony Stewart49 Ken Schrader
Row 11
18 Bobby Labonte

And as they come off turn 4 two by two, the green flag is in the air and the race is underway!

Through turns one and two Vickers and Johnson stayed side by side early in the going, but coming into the 3rd circuit Ryan Newman would rocket to the inside, and take the point. Vickers undeterred would regroup, and fire past the #12 off 4 on the 5th lap, before giving way to Tony Stewart and Jeremy Mayfield in the laps that followed.

The Hendrick cars would show strong early pace with Jeff Gordon taking the lead, before handing it off to winner of the 1985 edition Terry Labonte, before Jimmie Johnson would take a turn himself.

The Hendrick party would be spoiled by 46 year old Mark Martin, who would plant himself on the point for 6 laps around the 2.5 mile Super Speedway, before the Ditech duo of Vickers and Labonte would reaffirm their place atop the leaderboard.

Coming to the end of lap 26 Labonte would pass his teammate to claim sole possession of the lead. But one lap later the first major challenge of the race appeared out the front windshield in the form of Geoffery Bodine, whose black #93 Chevrolet had fallen well off the pace. This would be the very opportunity that 3rd year driver Greg Biffle needed to take the point, using the lap car as a pick while the field scrambled behind him.

This wouldn't last very long though, as the cyclic nature of Daytona continued to churn, putting 1999 series Champ Dale Jarrett out front, before 2000 Champ Bobby Labonte followed suit.

Lap 31 would see Hendrick power again take center stage, with Jeff Gordon re-taking the lead, before Mark Martin and Terry Labonte both cycled to the front. At this point in the race, the Hendrick cars seemed to be the dominant forces, with Mark Martin and Greg Biffle showing the speed to keep up with them. But with just under half the race to go, anything can happen.

First pitters would break off coming to the end of the 37th circuit, with Mayfield and Martin taking the decision to short pit and try and get the jump on the field. They would be followed in next time by by Junior, Gordon, and the Ganassi Dodges (and the lap car of Geoffery Bodine, but he is irrelevant at this point)

Newman, would lead the next cycle of cars, this time containing the rest of the Bow-tie Brigade that hadn't yet made a trip down pit lane, and finally the rest of the stragglers would make their required stop on lap 41.

Post pitstops, most of the strong Hendrick cars would be out of contention due to slow stops, as would Mark Martin, opening the race wide open. A 4 car breakaway at the front would be eaten up by the pursuing pack behind, thus leaving us with 13 drivers with a shot at glory.

It would be at this time that Brian Vickers, the remaining of the fleet Hendrick Chevrolet's in contention would start making his presence known again, but now his main opposition would come from a driver who has been mostly quiet this race: Kurt Busch, last years champion, who had been conserving his equipment earlier in the going.

Though despite these 2 showing the most strength, that didn't mean the other drivers in the pack would let off the gas, as Ricky Rudd and Rusty Wallace would try and play spoiler. BUT there would be one last curve ball as the event closed in on 5 to go as the lapped cars of Terry Labonte and Geoff Bodine would break up the pack, gifting the lead to Kahne, then Biffle, then Wallace, then Jarrett, then Schrader(!)

But with laps ticking away, the 2 main threats of Vickers and Busch charged their way back up the order, and with one lap to go, it would be a duel between the two to decide the winner. Vickers led at the line, rounding the first 2 turns, when down the backstraight the #97 shoots low and catches the #25 off guard!

And off Turn 4, down to the stripe, it will be Kurt Busch winning the Bud Shootout!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Race Results------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11397K Busch188.784728180Running
2125B Vickers-0.117214*180Running
381J Nemechek-0.12721170Running
4721R Rudd-0.2723165Running
51719J Mayfield-0.21722160Running
6168D Earnhardt Jr.-0.3720150Running
71116G Biffle-0.3725151Running
8182R Wallace-0.39726147Running
92118B Labonte-0.42722143Running
102049K Schrader-0.53721139Running
111588D Jarrett-0.64721135Running
121920T Stewart-0.7721132Running
13109K Kahne-0.81725129Running
14248J Johnson-10.98722126Running
15339B Elliott-11.06720118Running
1646M Martin-11.15728120Running
171424J Gordon-11.22724117Running
181241C Mears-11.34720109Running
19912R Newman-11.53723111Running
20644T Labonte-1L716108Running
21593G Bodine-2L700100Running

Post Race Notes:
-The season starts off with a fairly clean and competitive affair, with only 4 cars unable to lead a lap
-Dale Earnhardt Jr was surprisingly quiet this time around, unable to take control of the race like he is known to do
-Hendrick power showed out today, with all 4 cars showing competitive pace, the two Ditech cars of Vickers and Labonte especially
-Roush Racing also managed to get all 3 cars up front at one point or another, which bodes well for their 500 chances
-Meanwhile the #93 GIC-Mixon Chevrolet struggled to keep pace all day, likely using the Shooutout as an extra practice session to try and find some speed come Thursday's duels

That is all for today's broadcast, see you next time for Daytona 500 Qualifying on TPG Sports Network!
Last edited:
Jun 12, 2022
Reaction score
2005 Daytona 500 Entry List



-57 Drivers are vying for 42 spots.
-Top 35 locked in based on last years owners points
-Joe Gibbs 20 and 11 owners points swap, Leffler is locked into the show, Stewart locked in via Past Champions Provisional, can still qualify in via time trials/race in via the Duels.
Jun 12, 2022
Reaction score
Qualifying has just finished up for the Daytona 500, and as the cars go through post race tech, here is how they currently stack up.

118B Labonte45.836
220T Stewart45.926
348J Johnson45.934
425B Vickers45.989
588D Jarrett46.003
638E Sadler46.018
72R Wallace46.02
88D Earnhardt Jr.46.031
916G Biffle46.103
1010S Riggs46.135
1177T Kvapil46.139
1219J Mayfield46.147
1324J Gordon46.148
1433K Earnhardt46.148
1517M Kenseth46.149
165K Busch46.151
176M Martin46.162
1831J Burton46.172
1911J Leffler46.184
2009J Sauter46.186
2115M Waltrip46.193
2297K Busch46.196
2329K Harvick46.209
2421R Rudd46.211
2512R Newman46.213
2622S Wimmer46.216
2799C Edwards46.224
287R Gordon46.249
2932B Hamilton Jr.46.259
3007D Blaney46.287
319K Kahne46.288
3243J Green46.291
3341C Mears46.304
3401J Nemechek46.305
354M Wallace46.307
361M Truex Jr.46.32
3742J McMurray46.343
3840S Marlin46.353
3936B Said46.354
4073E McClure46.354
410M Bliss46.373
4213G Sacks46.386
4389M Shepherd46.403
4449K Schrader46.418
4545K Petty46.423
4634R Lajoie46.425
4727K Shelmerdine46.437
4800K Wallace46.456
4914J Andretti46.462
5037K Lepage46.507
5152L Gunselman46.531
5266H Sadler46.568
5392S Barrett46.568
5455D Cope46.603
5523M Skinner46.622
5680A Belmont46.668
5793G Bodine47.271

-Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart lock out the front row, and secure their spots for the Great American Race
-This also means that one of the open qualifying spots is already occupied, the #20 having guaranteed his spot in the field
-With the #20 being locked in, there are 2 spots left reserved for the fastest drivers not yet-qualified into the show.
-As they stand right now, those spots are currently held by #33 Kerry Earnhardt, and #09 Johnny Sauter, who will take the 41st and 42nd starting spots should they fail to race their way in.
-Should either the #33 or #09 finish in the 2 transfer spots, then the speed provisionals go to the next in line, this being Robby Gordon.
-Should both the #33 and #09 transfer in, then both Gordon's #7 and Mike Wallace's #4 entry will take the spots.
-Martin Truex Jr and Boris Said are also eligible for the provisional, but only if the drivers ahead of them in speed make the show in the duels.
-#1 Truex Jr. requires three of either the 33, 09, 7, or 4 to secure a spot in the field, while #36 Said needs all 4 of them to be secure.
-All go-or-go-home drivers below Said have to race their way in via the duels, and are ineligible for any provisionals.
Jun 12, 2022
Reaction score
Thursday, February 17th, 2005 - Daytona International Speedway - 2005 Gatorade Duel 150 #1

Welcome everybody to TPG Sports Network, where today we will be broadcasting the Gatorade Duel 150's at the Daytona International Speedway.

The long winter silence was broken by the sound of thunder last Saturday, where Kurt Busch took the win in the Bud Shootout. Now 57 cars across two races will vie for a starting spot in the Great American Race. For some teams this is a warmup to get themselves back into gear for the upcoming year, while for others, these races are the most important races of the season. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates have locked out the front row for the Daytona 500, but the other 40 positions are still up for grabs.

So as they give the command to fire the engines for Duel #1, here is your starting lineup.


InsideRow 1Outside
18 B Labonte48 J Johnson
Row 2
88 D Jarrett2 R Wallace
Row 3
16 G Biffle77 T Kvapil
Row 4
24 J Gordon33 K Earnhardt
Row 5
5 K Busch31 J Burton
Row 6
15 M Waltrip29 K Harvick
Row 7
12 R Newman99 C Edwards
Row 8
32 B Hamilton Jr.9 K Kahne
Row 9
41 C Mears4 M Wallace
Row 10
42 J McMurray36 B Said
Row 11
0 M Bliss89 M Shepherd
Row 12
27 K Shelmerdine14 J Andretti
Row 13
52 L Gunselman92 S Barrett
Row 14
23 M Skinner80 A Belmont
Row 15
93 G Bodine

And as they fly down to the stripe, the green flag is in the air and the race is underway!

Bobby Labonte would hold down the first lap, but quickly the cycling of the field commenced. The battle for the transfer spot would immediately heat up, with driver jockeying for position early in the running. A few laps in and it would be Rookie Travis Kvapil asserting himself at the front of the field, showcasing the strength of those Penske Engines.

But eventually the #77's supremacy would falter, and again the lead would start cycling, with Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick each taking posts at the front of the field as the race approaches halfway.

And as the carrs rounded turns 3 and 4 on the 30th circuit, McMurray would shoot 4 wide to the inside, and a major accident would break out, with McMurray, Casey Mears, Mike Wallace, Morgan Shepherd, Jimmie Johnson, and Kirk Shelmerdine being caught up

Meanwhile Kirk Shelmerdine, with race car careening out of control would cross paths with Dale Jarrett and Boris Said, taking the latter out of the race.

But that wouldn't be the end, as Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle would get together trying to avoid the mess, sending the #5 up and over, side over side, end over end, with Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Andy Belmont, and Mike Skinner getting collected in the melee.


This string of events would not only bring out the caution, but drastically change the complexion of the race. The whole field took advantage of this opportunity to dive down pit road for their round of service.

Restart lap 35 would see cars filter through the damaged traffic, with the damaged car of Gordon leading the train, and breaking up the pack as he tried to get to pit road with a right side tire going flat, a bad day gone worse for the #24 team.

More cars would break off, having under-fueled the car at the pitstop, including the #77 of Travis Kvapil, Micheal Waltrip in the DEI #15, and the 9 of Kasey Kahne, who made extra repairs while he was at it.

The #15 and #77 would quickly find themselves engulfed amongst the pack, and the damaged car of Dale Jarrett would further complicate the picture, of which would set up the battle for the win, and the transfer spots. Bobby Labonte would hold steady up front, with go-or-go-homer Kerry Earnhardt right behind. Also amongst the pack would be Stanton Barrett for upstart Front Row Motorsports, and Geoffery Bodine, who clearly was putting the knowledge learned in the shootout to good use, trying to race his way into the big dance. These drivers would be joined by John Andretti, a former Daytona winner, trying to get Greg Pollex's #14 car into the race.

Lap traffic would give Labonte a sizable gap, something not necessarily desired at these Plate Tracks, while the rest of the pack navigated past. The field would close up once more with under 5 to go, the final battle to the finish in full force. Ryan Newman would claw to third, with the Black of of Bodine in tow, before Harvick and Andretti made their move coming to the white flag, bouncing Bodine Back.

Flying down the backstretch for the final time, Newman would take a shove from Andretti, and power past the #18 Chevrolet into 3, holding off the pack to win the first Gatorade Duel!

Meanwhile not far behind, Stanton Barret would edge out Kerry Earnhardt for the second transfer spot, forcing the #33 to fall back on speed, while the heroic effort from veteran Geoff Bodine would sadly come up short

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Race Results------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11312R Newman174.461601180Running
22414J Andretti-0.09600170Running
3118B Labonte-0.126024*175Running
41031J Burton-0.18600160Running
51229K Harvick-0.21605160Running
642R Wallace-0.26602155Running
7210M Bliss-0.35600146Running
82692S Barrett-0.44600142Running
9833K Earnhardt-0.52600138Running
102993G Bodine-0.66600134Running
112552L Gunselman-11.28600130Running
121499C Edwards-11.31606132Running
131532B Hamilton Jr.-11.39600124Running
142880A Belmont-42.71600121Running
152723M Skinner-42.91600118Running
161115M Waltrip-1L590115Running
17677T Kvapil-1L599117Running
182289M Shepherd-1L590109Running
192327K Shelmerdine-1L590106Running
20724J Gordon-1L594108Running
21169K Kahne-2L580100Running
22388D Jarrett-2L583102Running
232036B Said-29L31094Retired
24184M Wallace-29L31091Retired
251741C Mears-29L31088Retired
261942J McMurray-29L31085Accident
27516G Biffle-30L30082Retired
28248J Johnson-30L30284Retired
2995K Busch-30L30481Accident

Post Race Notes:
-A chaotic race sees several major car out of the race, in what proved to be a wild show.
-John Andretti qualifies owner Greg Pollex into his first Daytona 500 since 1996.
-Stanton Barrett also qualifies for the Daytona 500, the first for upstart Front Row Motorsports
-Boris Said will fail to qualify for the Daytona 500, due his DNF and Kerry Earnhardt being the 3rd highest go-or-go-home driver as well as Mike Wallace DNF-ing
-Martin Truex Jr. will have to race his way into Duel #2, the only driver who could still make it in on speed is Robby Gordon, should Johnny Sauter transfer in via the second Duel
-Penske Horsepower seemed to be the prevailing narrative this race, with each driver amongst the organization showing speed.
-Bobby Labonte looked strong today, and will be a driver to keep an eye on come Sunday.
-Geoffery Bodine was two spots away from a feel good story, in what could easily be the teams only attempt this year.
-Other drivers on the long road home include Larry Gunselman, Andy Belmont, Mike Skinner, Morgan Shepherd, and Kirk Shelmerdine

That is all for today's broadcast, see you next you shortly for Duel #2 on TPG Sports Network!
Jun 12, 2022
Reaction score
Thursday, February 17th, 2005 - Daytona International Speedway - 2005 Gatorade Duel 150 #2

Welcome back to TPG Sports Network. We are closing in on Duel #2, as the field assembles in the pit lane.

The first duel saw a massive accident, hard racing, and a dogfight for both the win and the transfer positions. With that said, when one duel is full of fireworks, it usually means the second is a much calmer affair, but with Daytona 500 aspirations on the line, you can't get too complacent.

So as the command to fire engines is given, lets go down to the starting grid for Duel #2.

InsideRow 1Outside
20 T Stewart25 B Vickers
Row 2
38 E Sadler8 D Earnhardt Jr.
Row 3
10 S Riggs19 J Mayfield
Row 4
17 M Kenseth6 M Martin
Row 5
11 J Leffler09 J Sauter
Row 6
97 K Busch21 R Rudd
Row 7
22 S Wimmer7 R Gordon
Row 8
07 D Blaney43 J Green
Row 9
01 J Nemechek1 M Truex Jr.
Row 10
40 S Marlin73 E McClure
Row 11
13 G Sacks49 K Schrader
Row 12
45 K Petty34 R Lajoie
Row 13
00 K Wallace37 K Lepage
Row 14
66 H Sadler55 D Cope

As the field crosses the stripe, Gatorade Duel #2 is now underway!

Tony Stewart fires off in the opening laps, as the field sorts themselves out behind. As with Duel #1, the field goes into shuffle mode, with the Roush pair of Kenseth and Busch, Sterling Marlin, among others taking their shot. Amongst the drivers spearheading the field are go-or-go-homers such as Kevin Lepage, Derrike Cope, and Hermie Sadler, showing the level of urgency amongst the pack to get up front, and hopefully avoid the big one that collected several drivers in Duel #1.

Unlike Duel #1, no driver seems to have a significant advantage, as the most a driver can stay out front is 3-4 laps, with many drivers taking shots at the lead, including Riggs, Leffler, Rudd, and Sadler amongst others.

On lap 36, Brian Vickers leads the first cavalcade down the long pit lane, the next time by it would be Jeremy Mayfield leading the field down, all while Kurt Busch and a few others go long, though with them split up and lacking drafting help, this strategy might not pan out how they hoped.

Meanwhile off turn 4 the 45 car goes up in smoke and tried to make his way down the pit lane. Unfortunately the car coughs out at the pit road entry, right as the remaining cars break off for service! Kurt Busch almost hits the #45 entering the pit lane, while Scott Wimmer has nowhere to go and packs the 45 square in the rear bumper, taking them both out of the race!

Despite the pit road chaos the race stays green and the field starts to sort itself out for the run to the flag. Joe Nemechek has a tire cut down, and drops to pit road to replace it. Combine that with Scott Riggs being last car on the lead lap and off the pace, along with Boris Said's exit from duel #1, and MB2 Motorsports is having an absolutely atrocious go at it.

Meanwhile up front it is a 9 car shootout to the end, with Hermie Sadler and Martin Truex holding on to the two transfer spots. With the next go-or-go-homer in the next pack a fair distance back, it will take a caution or ill timed mechanical failure for anyone else to have a chance.

The lead switches around between the Fords of Busch, Martin, and Elliott Sadler, the latter tying to help his older brother into the show. But DEI power suddenly shows up, but it isn't the #8. Rather it is Martin Truex Jr. the 2004 Busch Series Champion impressing the crowd. But the rookie doesn't last long up front, as the veterans in those darned Tauruses gang up on the lone Chevy, and bounce him down the order.

Lap cars break up the group and let Kurt Busch amass a huge lead, one that comes back to bite him when Elliott Sadler leads the train around to shuffle him back, but with 4 to go, Kurt mounts another charge and uses the lapped car of Nemechek to surge back to the fore.

And as the checkered flag flies, no-one has anything for the reigning Cup Series Champ, as Kurt Busch wins Duel #2!

And Hermie Sadler comfortably secures the last transfer spot.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Race Results------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11197K Busch190.6095920*185Running
21940S Marlin-0.14592175Running
3225B Vickers-0.17590165Running
4619J Mayfield-0.39590160Running
52766H Sadler-0.5590155Running
686M Martin-0.52591155Running
7181M Truex Jr.-0.59593151Running
8338E Sadler-0.675910147Running
92249K Schrader-0.89590138Running
10911J Leffler-11.26592139Running
111507D Blaney-11.37590130Running
122434R Lajoie-11.39590127Running
1348D Earnhardt Jr.-11.43591129Running
141643J Green-16.9590121Running
15717M Kenseth-17593123Running
16120T Stewart-17.02593120Running
171009J Sauter-17.12590112Running
18147R Gordon-17.19590109Running
192637K Lepage-17.19592111Running
202113G Sacks-17.28590103Running
212855D Cope-17.38590100Running
222500K Wallace-17.3859097Running
231221R Rudd-17.4959499Running
242073E McClure-17.5859091Running
25510S Riggs-1L58393Running
261701J Nemechek-2L57190Running
271322S Wimmer-20L39082Retired
282345K Petty-21L38484Accident

Post Race Notes:
-This Duel was a much quieter affair, bar the bizarre pit road incident involving Petty.
-Kyle Petty was called to the NASCAR hauler after the race to discuss his little stunt.
-Hermie Sadler makes his first ever Daytona 500, and the first for the rebranded Peak Fitness Racing
-Martin Truex Jr showed a lot of promise in this duel, which bodes well for his future
-Meanwhile many of the other 500 hopefuls had their hopes dashed by poor pit cycles, losing them valuable track position and putting them out of contention.
-Roush Racing and Yates Racing have showed an immense amount of promise so far, and look to be likely favorites for the 500.
-Kurt Busch has won both the Shootout and his Duel, could he be the first to preform the Speedweeks sweep?
-Dale Earnhardt Jr on the othe rhand seemed a bit out to sea. Yes he did make it to the front of the field briefly, but otherwise he has been oddly quiet this speedweeks.
-Poor MB2 Motorsports can't seem to have anything go right so far. Boris Said DNQ's due to getting swept up in an incident, Nemechek lost a lap early, and lost another due to a flat tire, and Riggs was out to lunch, finishing one lap down as well.

And finally your Go-Or-Go-Homer rundown for the 2005 Daytona 500

In Via Duels

1 Martin Truex Jr.
14 John Andretti
66 Hermie Sadler
92 Stanton Barrett

In On Speed
09 Johnny Sauter
20 Tony Stewart(Front Row Qualifier)
33 Kerry Earnhardt

00 Kenny Wallace
4 Mike Wallace
7 Robby Gordon
13 Greg Sacks
23 Mike Skinner
27 Kirk Shelmerdine
34 Randy Lajoie
36 Boris Said
37 Kevin Lepage
52 Larry Gunselman
55 Derrike Cope
73 Eric McClure
80 Andy Belmont
89 Morgan Shepherd
93 Geoffery Bodine
Last edited:
Who read this thread (Total readers: 0)