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USG Sheetrock 400 - Chicagoland Speedway

Finally, Earnhardt Jr. Wins Again
"Yahoo..... We got us a win!" Those were the words of winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., moments after he held off hard-charging Matt Kenseth in a thrilling, down-to-the wire finish at Chicagoland Speedway. Earnhardt's elation overshadowed the obvious dejection by Kenseth, who dominated a race in which many of the frontrunners fell by the wayside. The stage was set for the hair-raising finish when Mike Bliss drifted into the rear of Jeff Gordon's struggling Chevrolet to bring out the final caution flag of the afternoon. With just 11 laps remaining, Earnhardt passed leader Scott Wimmer after pitting for two tires. His Chevrolet stayed out front the rest of the way while Kenseth, who took four tires on his stop, charged hard but came up 0.291 seconds behind Earnhardt. Kenseth passed everyone but Earnhardt before the checkered flag fell. Trailing Earnhardt and Kenseth were NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson, youngster Brian Vickers, and 2002 champion Tony Stewart, who drove an outstanding race despite still being sore from a practice crash that demolished his primary car and forced the Home Depot team to use a backup machine. The victory for Earnhardt was his first since Phoenix last November, and will likely silence some of the critics who were beginning to wonder whether the Earnhardt would be a contender again this year. Rounding out the top 10 were Jeremy Mayfield, Ricky Rudd, Kurt Busch, Casey Mears, and Mark Martin. Several drivers led in the first half of the race, including Kenseth, Johnson and Harvick. Chassis setups became more important than usual as track temperatures soared, prompting several drivers to encounter excessive tire wear problems. Carl Edwards, Elliott Sadler and Jeff Burton saw their hopes of a win or top finish vanish when they were involved in incidents involving tire and chassis problems. Several of the top teams struggled throughout the race after being unable to dial their race cars in for a shot at victory. The 100-plus degree track temperature and struggles by some top teams to find the proper setup under such conditions left the door wide open for another first-time winner this year.

USG Sheetrock 400 Notes
· Race Results
· Chevrolet Post-Race Quotes
· Ford Post-Race Quotes
· Dodge Post-Race Quotes
· Rookie Post-Race Quotes
· Point Standings
· Owner Point Standings
· Final Practice
· Tony Stewart Saturday Quotes
· Elliott Sadler Saturday Quotes
· Wallace, Stremme Saturday Quotes
· Practice 2
· Starting Lineup
· Qualifying Results
· Chevrolet Qualifying Quotes
· Dodge Qualifying Quotes
· Ford Qualifying Quotes
· Rookie Qualifying Quotes
· Practice 1
· Qualifying Order
· Entry List
· Race Notes
· Weekend Schedule
· Raybestos Rookie Notes
· David Stremme Notes
· Stuart Kirby Notes
· Terry Labonte Notes
· Mike Bliss Notes
· Scott Wimmer Notes
· Jimmie Johnson Notes
· Greg Biffle Notes
· Tony Stewart Notes
· Elliott Sadler Notes
· Rusty Wallace Notes
· Ryan Newman Notes
· Jamie McMurray Notes
· Mark Martin Notes
· Kurt Busch Notes
· Dale Jarrett Notes
· Jeremy Mayfield Notes
· Carl Edwards Notes
· Jeff Gordon Notes
· Kevin Harvick Notes
· Jeff Burton Notes
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. Notes
· Joe Nemechek Notes
· Matt Kenseth Notes
· Kyle Busch Notes
· Kasey Kahne Notes
· Brian Vickers Notes
· Sterling Marlin Notes
· Scott Riggs Notes
· Bobby Labonte Notes
· Ken Schrader Notes
· Dave Blaney Notes
· Casey Mears Notes
· Ricky Rudd Notes
· Kyle Petty Notes

Johnson Wins 8th Career Pole on Friday at Chicago
Jimmie Johnson will start the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway from the inside of row number one after winning the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bud Pole on Friday afternoon during the qualifying session. Johnson turned in a record-breaking performance with a fast qualifying lap of 28.701 seconds, at an average speed of 188.147 mph, eclipsing Jeff Gordonís track-qualifying record of 28.886 seconds, at an average of 186.942 mph - set July 9, 2004. In fact, the top six qualifiers broke Gordonís 2004 track record and this is the fifth time a new track record has been set this season. This is Johnsonís eighth career Bud Pole in 129 NEXTEL Cup Series races and his first this season. Johnson did start first at Dover in June but did so when qualifying was rained out and the field was set by owner points. He now becomes the 11th different Bud Pole winner this season and gives Chicago its fifth different Bud Pole winner in the five races at the track since the inaugural NEXTEL Cup Series race in 2001. This is Johnsonís third top-10 start in four NEXTEL Cup Series races at Chicagoland Speedway. Ryan Newman posted the second-quickest qualifying lap of 28.715 seconds, at an average speed of 188.055 mph Ė and will join Johnson on the front row for the USG Sheetrock 400. Newman posted his 15th top-10 start of 2005, his ninth on the front row. He has started on the front row in 47 of his career races. Newman has started 14th or better, including two front-row starts, in his four races at Chicago. Casey Mears qualified third, posting just his second top-10 start this season Ė both top-fives Ė giving him his second top-10 start in three races at Chicago. Matt Kenseth will start from the fourth position, his best qualifying effort of the season, while Brian Vickers will roll off from the fifth position, his seventh top-10 start in 2005. The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Chicago was 32nd by Kevin Harvick in 2002.


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