| October 10, 2004 (2004-10-10)|
Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas
Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
267 laps, 400.5 mi (644.5 km)
Mild with temperatures approaching 70 °F (21 °C); wind speeds reached a maximum sustained speed of 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)
128.085 miles per hour (206.133 km/h)
The 2004 Banquet 400 was a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race that took place on October 10, 2004, at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. The race was won from the pole by Joe Nemechek, his final trip to victory lane in NASCAR. Ricky Rudd finished second and Greg Biffle came in third.
2004 Banquet 400 Wikipedia
Joe Nemechek would defeat Ricky Rudd by just one car length (.081 of a second) in front of 90,000 fans. Nemechek won the pole position for the race at just over 180 miles per hour (290 km/h) during Friday's qualifying session. The race took three hours to complete and nine caution periods slowed the race for 39 laps. The race began at approximately 2:00 PM EDT and concluded at approximately 5:07 PM EDT. At an interview done in 2012, Nemechek praised NASCAR's then-lenient rules on "vehicle innovation" that allowed him to acquire his fourth (and final) NASCAR Cup Series victory.
Sterling Marlin had problems in the pits and came out with a terrible 34th-place finish due to a crash. Kirk Shelmerdine received the last-place finish on the third lap of this 267-lap race due to a problem with his clutch. Shane Hmiel would make the best finish in his NASCAR career to date with a respectable 24th-place finish. Veteran driver Larry Gunselman would make his final Nextel Cup Series start. He would attempt the next two Daytona 500 races and make several starts in the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series before becoming the owner of Max Q Motorsports; a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team that is currently inactive.
Purse monies for each driver ranged from $279,725 ($354,683.02 when adjusted for inflation) to $63,212 ($80,150.95 when adjusted for inflation). Kansas Speedway awarded a grand total of $3,553,992 to all the drivers who qualified for this event ($4,506,356.66 when adjusted for inflation).