2004 Checker Auto Parts 500

Chevrolet rivals battled to exciting finish in 2004

Long before becoming teammates at Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon were adversaries for rival Chevrolet teams. Near the end of the 2004 season, their battle came to a head at PIR.

Late in the 2004 Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil, Gordon was in first place and looked ready for his first win in the Valley of the Sun. A late caution and the ensuing Lap 303 restart left Earnhardt behind only Gordon, but Gordon’s lead was not to be. Earnhardt shot past and took the lead just before a final caution, and then on the final green flag - in the first year of green-white-checkered finishes in the Cup Series - Earnhardt eased away from Gordon for his second straight PIR win.

"Gordon was a sitting duck," Earnhardt said after his dramatic pass. "His car was terrible. He was lucky to get what he got."

Tickets to all events throughout the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are available at the newly-designed www.phoenixraceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223). The PIR Ticket Office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 125 S. Avondale Blvd., just south of I-10 at Exit 131 in Avondale.

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