Kurt Busch held on in inaugural Chase the old-fashioned way

The Chase was new, and so was the champion in 2004. How did Kurt Busch hang on? One huge break and good old-fashioned consistency, writes Ed Hinton.

Updated: September 8, 2008, 9:47 PM ET
By Ed Hinton | ESPN.com

The inaugural Chase, in 2004, remains the only one that can be remembered in absolute terms.

There is no doubt about its low point. It came on the dismal morning of Oct. 24, with an eerily low ceiling of clouds over south-central Virginia, when a Hendrick Motorsports team plane crashed into a mountainside near Martinsville, killing all 10 people aboard.

And there is no questioning the high point, Jimmie Johnson's inspirational storm out of his team's grief ...

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