Sneak peak: Fox – NASCAR’s greatest Darlington finish
Do you remember what happened at Darlington Raceway a little over 20 years ago?
Hint: Ricky Craven vs. Kurt Busch.
Still need more? It was a photo finish between the two in the spring race at one of NASCAR’s toughest and most respected racetracks.
Fox Sports will air a short feature on the duel between Craven and Busch before Sunday’s Goodyear 400. With this season being the 75th anniversary of NASCAR, there is no better time to celebrate some of the sport’s great moments, and Fox Sports has been airing features and re-enactments throughout.
Craven and Busch became an instant classic on March 16, 2003 — one that has withstood the test of time when it comes to NASCAR highlights and the conversation around classic races and great finishes.
Both drivers sat for the feature, which Fox Sports shared with RACER early. Both explained the frantic finish as the race played out on screen in front of them.
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The view switches back and forth between Craven and Busch.
“(Turns) 1 and 2, I’m fine,” recalls Busch of the final lap.
“I came off the accelerator here because it’s not going to happen,” says Craven as the race footage rolls. “But (Turns) 3 and 4 is where the magic was.”
“This is where I froze,” says Busch.
The two made contact coming off the final corner, their cars seemingly locked together coming to the finish line. The margin of victory with Craven nipping ahead of Busch was 0.002s — the closest in NASCAR history. Just once has that margin been matched: Talladega Superspeedway in April 2011 during the tandem draft era.
Others included in the feature: Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds, two of the broadcasters from that day. The excitement from the two in the booth made the call unforgettable.
Busch gets emotional at one point in the feature as he talks about coming up short in the battle against Craven. Of the triumphs that Busch had in his Cup Series career, winning at Darlington Raceway never happened for him.
Darlington was the second and final win of Craven’s Cup Series career, and, “It was the only time my children were in victory lane with me,” he explained.
The full feature will air during NASCAR RaceDay at 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday.