.0002 was the margin of victory in the closest Cup race in NASCAR’s history and today marks the tenth anniversary of that race at Darlington.
Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch, bumped and banged out of turn 4 and as their cars came to the finish line practically “melted” together, it was Cravens number 32 that won the race by the smallest of margins. It was one of only 2 Cup race victories to Craven’s name, but it’s a classic. Busch is yet to win at Darlington (he starts on the pole tonight).
Tonight’s race also marks Jeff Gordon’s 700th consecutive Cup race, love him or hate him that’s one hell of an accomplishment. Ricky Rudd owns the “iron man” record with 788 consecutive starts.
In order for Gordon to surpass Rudd, he would have to string together the rest of this season, all of 2014, and 2/3rds of 2015. The 4 time Cup Champion will be a handful of years younger than Rudd was when his streak ended, so barring an injury that would keep him out of the driver’s seat he should surpass Rudd in a couple of years. 700 consecutive starts, and 87 Cup wins (7 at Darlington) is not bad for a driver who Darrell Waltrip said in Jeff’s rookie season (1993) “I don’t think he’s (Gordon) going to make it.”