close finishes

Closest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finishes

NASCAR's premiere racing division, the Sprint Cup Series, has seen many close finishes since the electronic scoring system was instituted in May during the 1993 season. To date the closest finish in the Sprint Cup Series occurred during the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. Ricky Craven won the race in a stunning, side panel rubbing battle to the checkers with Kurt Busch at Darlington Raceway, at the start/finish line Craven edged out Busch by mere inches.


Beginning May 1993, NASCAR switched from using handheld stopwatches or analog timing clocks to integrated electronic scoring.

Before margins of victory were scored in laps, car lengths or feet. Geoffrey Bodine defeated Ernie Irvan by 0.53 seconds in the 1993 Save Mart Supermarkets 300K. It was the first race utilizing electronic scoring. Now scoring can be measured down to seconds, or fractions of a second.

Closest finishes

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series closest finishes
Race Margin (seconds) Winner 2nd Place Track Date
2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 0.002 Ricky Craven Kurt Busch Darlington Raceway March 16, 2003
2007 Pepsi 400 0.005 Jamie McMurray Kyle Busch Daytona International Speedway July 7, 2007
1993 DieHard 500 0.005 Dale Earnhardt Ernie Irvan Talladega Superspeedway July 25, 1993
2001 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 0.006 Kevin Harvick Jeff Gordon Atlanta Motor Speedway March 11, 2001
1994 Pepsi 400 0.008 Jimmy Spencer Ernie Irvan Daytona International Speedway July 2, 1994
2004 Subway 400 0.010 Matt Kenseth Kasey Kahne North Carolina Speedway February 22, 2004
2000 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 0.010 Bobby Labonte Dale Earnhardt Atlanta Motor Speedway March 12, 2000
2005 Ford 400 0.017 Greg Biffle Mark Martin Homestead-Miami Speedway November 20, 2005
2007 Daytona 500 0.020 Kevin Harvick Mark Martin Daytona International Speedway February 18, 2007
1994 DieHard 500 0.025 Jimmy Spencer Bill Elliott Talladega Superspeedway July 24, 1994
2005 Coca-Cola 600 0.027 Jimmie Johnson Bobby Labonte Lowe's Motor Speedway May 29, 2005
2005 Golden Corral 500 0.028 Carl Edwards Jimmie Johnson Atlanta Motor Speedway March 20, 2005
2004 Samsung/Radio Shack 500 0.028 Elliott Sadler Kasey Kahne Texas Motor Speedway April 5, 2004
1997 Pepsi 400 0.029 John Andretti Terry Labonte Daytona International Speedway July 5, 1997


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