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There are few moments more exhilarating in racing than when the leaders come off the final corner side-by-side and nose-to-nose as they head towards the finish line. Especially when the end result at the checkered flag is too close to call with the naked eye.

For much of the first half century of NASCAR racing, photo finishes were exactly as their name suggested: Judgment calls at the line that would have to go to photo review in order to determine a winner. The inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959 famously ended in a photo finish that saw Johnny Beauchamp initially be named the winner, only for a photo review three days later to show that Lee Petty had narrowly been ahead of Beauchamp at the start/finish line. The Petty/Beauchamp finish became the most famous example of a photo finish, with others ranging from easy calls to extremely difficult -- On one occasion, Buddy Baker and Cale Yarborough were both credited with third-place finish in the 1974 Firecracker 400 at Daytona after photos proved so inconclusive that NASCAR officials called a dead heat.

But in 1993, things changed when NASCAR implemented an electronic timing and scoring system, giving instantaneous interval numbers down to the thousandth of a second and beyond. Since that point, there has been a tangible means of measuring the sport's closest finishes ever -- And occasionally, things get so close that the old-fashioned method of photo review must be utilized, albeit with the technology of today.

With a new high mark -- or low mark, depending on your preferred measurement -- being set this past weekend at Kansas Speedway, here is an overview of the 10 closest finishes in NASCAR Cup Series history as of May 2024.

10 -- 1994 Pepsi 400 -- Jimmy Spencer beats Ernie Irvan by 0.008

True to his "Mr. Excitement" nickname, Jimmy Spencer earned his very first Winston Cup win in dramatic fashion in the 1994 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. After pursuing Ernie Irvan for the race lead over the final laps, Spencer made his move coming off turn 2 down the backstretch on the final lap, racing side-by-side with Irvan from there before beating him by a scant 0.008 at the finish line. Both of Spencer's two career wins would come on superspeedways in the summer of '94, as he would also win at Talladega just three weeks later.

T-9 -- 2019 500 -- Ryan Blaney beats Ryan Newman by 0.007

It was the Ryan & Ryan Show at Talladega in the fall of 2019, with both drivers looking to advance through to the Round of 8 of the NASCAR playoffs with a win. Newman was pushed clear to the lead by Denny Hamlin on the final lap, but the gap between Newman and the lead pack would allow Blaney to get a run on him going through the trioval and to the finish line. Blaney would beat Newman to the finish line by 0.007, giving him his third career win and securing his place in the next round.

T-9 -- 2020 GEICO 500 -- Ryan Blaney beats Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 0.007

Not to be outdone by his heroics from the fall, Blaney would match his margin of victory in the next Talladega race in June of 2020. Blaney would surge past Kevin Harvick on the final lap, then had to fend off Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek, Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. through the trioval before barely hanging on as Stenhouse attempted the winning pass, scoring the victory by 0.007

7 -- 2001 Cracker Barrel 500 -- Kevin Harvick beats Jeff Gordon by 0.006

The legend of Kevin Harvick and his future NASCAR Hall of Fame career was launched by the epic, incomparably emotional way in which he earned his first career win. Making just his third career start after taking over Dale Earnhardt's car following his death at the end of that year's Daytona 500, Harvick took the lead with six laps to go in a five-car battle for the top spot, then withstood a charge by Jeff Gordon off the final corner to take the win. 

Adding to the extreme catharsis for Richard Childress Racing and all of NASCAR was that the photo finish resembled the one from the previous year's Atlanta race, in which Earnhardt edged out Bobby Labonte by 0.010

T-5 -- 2007 Pepsi 400 -- Jamie McMurray beats Kyle Busch by 0.005

Months after a photo finish decided the Daytona 500 for the first time since 1959, the Pepsi 400 in July actually ended up being far closer than the finish between Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin in February. After Jamie McMurray took the lead from Jeff Gordon with six laps to go, he and Kyle Busch would wind up deadlocked for the lead over the final five laps all the way until McMurray beat Busch to the finish line by 0.005. It was McMurray's second career Cup win, and ended a 166-race winless streak of nearly five years after he had scored a shocking upset in just his second career start as a substitute driver in 2002.

T-5 -- 1993 DieHard 500 -- Dale Earnhardt beats Ernie Irvan by 0.005

On an emotional day at Talladega a mere two weeks after local hero Davey Allison had died following a helicopter crash in the track's infield, still-grieving race fans were treated to a spectacular finish between Dale Earnhardt and Ernie Irvan. On the final lap, Irvan capitalized on Kyle Petty's attempt at the winning move on Earnhardt, cutting three-wide to the bottom coming off turn 2, then spent the rest of the way running side-by-side with Earnhardt before The Intimidator prevailed by a scant 0.005.

Coming shortly after the implementation of electronic timing and scoring, this would stand as the closest finish in Cup Series history for nearly a full 10 years.

4 -- 2024 Ambetter Health 400 -- Daniel Suarez beats Ryan Blaney by 0.003

A barnburner of a race in Atlanta ended in the closest three-wide photo finish in NASCAR history, with Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez both making their moves to the outside of Ryan Blaney going down the backstretch entering turn 3 on the final lap. The three would remain side-by-side through the final corner and all the way to the finish line, with Suarez getting his second career Cup win by 0.003 over Blaney and 0.007 over Busch.

T-2 -- 2011 Aaron's 499 -- Jimmie Johnson beats Clint Bowyer by 0.002

The tandem drafting era of racing at Daytona and Talladega produced multiple photo finishes, with none closer than the one that took place in the 2011 Aaron's 499. Receiving a push from Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson cut to the inside of Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin heading into the trioval for the final time, receiving just enough of a push to make it three-wide for the win and beat Bowyer by 0.002.

T-2 -- 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 -- Ricky Craven beats Kurt Busch by 0.002

In a finish that arguably encapsulates everything that makes NASCAR great, Ricky Craven prevailed over Kurt Busch in an unforgettable race at Darlington in the spring of 2003. Craven began closing in on Busch for the lead as the run to the finish progressed, an advance that was greatly aided when the power steering on Busch's car failed. Craven tried to muscle his way past Busch in turn 1 with two laps to go, but Busch recovered from getting shoved into the wall and took the lead back by laying the bumper to Craven.

Craven would regroup for one final charge, setting Busch up once more before getting a run on the inside through the final corner. The two would collide coming off turn 4, banging doors in a deadlock to the checkered flag before Craven beat Busch by just 0.002 seconds at the finish line. It was the second and final win of Craven's journeyman Cup career, secured his legacy in NASCAR, and set a record for the closest Cup finish ever that stood for more than 21 years.

1 -- 2024 AdventHealth 400 -- Kyle Larson beats Chris Buescher by 0.001

A thrilling race from the drop of the green flag at Kansas ended in an unforgettable moment at the checkered flag, which was set up when a spin by Kyle Busch with seven laps to go set up an overtime restart. Chris Buescher would get the launch he needed to take the lead, but on the final lap he would leave the outside open just enough for Kyle Larson to drive up alongside him in the final corner. The two came off the final corner and banged doors side-by-side to the finish line, and the finish was so close that electronic timing and scoring initially named Buescher the winner.

However, further review showed that Larson -- barely -- was ahead of Buescher at the line, giving Larson his 25th career win by a margin of just 0.001 and setting a new high mark for the NASCAR Cup Series' closest finish ever.