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Gordon Leads HMS at Vegas

LAS VEGAS (March 7, 2004) – Jeff Gordon was the highest-finishing Hendrick Motorsports driver at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, posting a 15th-place finish in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series 400-miler.

Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevy, moved to fourth in the NEXTEL Cup driver standings with two top-10 finishes this season.

Jimmie Johnson was 16th in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy, closely followed by 17th-place Terry Labonte in the No. 5 Kellogg’s Monte Carlo.

After three events, Johnson and Labonte are 19th and 17th in the standings, respectively.

Rookie Brian Vickers finished 23rd after running out of fuel on the event’s final lap.  The Thomasville, N.C., native was running 15th at the time in the No. 25 GMAC Financial Services Chevy.

Vickers moved up one position to 28th in points.

Driving the No. 84 CARQUEST Monte Carlo in his NEXTEL Cup debut, Kyle Busch finished 41st at Las Vegas.  The 18-year-old made contact with the LVMS retaining wall after battling a tight-handling condition early in the race.

Busch, who is running a limited NEXTEL Cup schedule in 2004, will next compete at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series now moves to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Golden Corral 500 on Sunday, March 14.  Slated for a 1 p.m. ET green flag, the event will be broadcast live on FOX and PRN.

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