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Chicagoland NASCAR: Matt Kenseth beats Kyle Busch in delayed race

Matt Kenseth wins Chicagoland NASCAR Sprint Cup race 2013

Matt Kenseth claimed the early advantage in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase by winning a delayed Chicagoland race.

Heavy rain showers meant an event originally due to commence at midday local time finally finished at 11pm.

The start was delayed nearly two hours as efforts to dry the track took place, and then further rain forced a red flag stoppage of over five hours on lap 109 of 267.

Kenseth had usurped Jimmie Johnson atop the championship just as the points were reset at Richmond last week.

He and Joe Gibbs team-mate Kyle Busch made their way to the front during the 'daytime' segment of the Chicagoland race and led the majority of laps when it eventually resumed under the lights.

Busch was ahead at the final restart 20 laps from the end, and had a shot at sweeping the weekend following Truck and Nationwide wins.

But Kenseth got the better run at the green and took the lead, then established enough of a cushion to keep Busch at bay to the flag.

Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick fended off Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson for third.

Both Harvick's pursuers had to fight back from pit delays. Busch was infuriated by a speeding penalty, while Johnson was erroneously held by an official suspecting a lugnut issue at his second stop and then later had a jack issue.

His team-mate Jeff Gordon came back from a puncture for sixth, followed by Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman.

Polesitter Joey Logano led early on but was one of several drivers to suffer an engine failure, a fate shared by fellow Chase contender Dale Earnhardt Jr and a very disgruntled Denny Hamlin.

Results - 267 laps:

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                        Time/Gap
 1.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota            3h10m56.000s
 2.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +0.749s
 3.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet              +3.626s
 4.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet          +3.808s
 5.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet               +4.704s
 6.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet               +4.871s
 7.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                      +5.065s
 8.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford                +6.856s
 9.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                   +8.254s
10.  Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet           +8.712s
11.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford               +10.966s
12.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet              +12.236s
13.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                      +12.713s
14.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet             +13.348s
15.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                      +14.700s
16.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford               +15.533s
17.  Mark Martin         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet          +15.814s
18.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota                  +16.713s
19.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevolet      +17.638s
20.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet          +18.499s
21.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Toyota            +19.386s
22.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet             +20.085s
23.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet               +23.877s
24.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                         +1 lap
25.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet                 +1 lap
26.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford                    +1 lap
27.  Justin Allgaier     Phoenix Chevrolet                 +1 lap
28.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                    +1 lap
29.  Landon Cassill      Hilman Chevrolet                  +1 lap
30.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                      +1 lap
31.  Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                      +1 lap
32.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevolet       +6 laps


     Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota                247 laps
     Timmy Hill          FAS Lane Ford                   225 laps
     Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet              224 laps
     David Reutimann     BK Toyota                       195 laps
     Joey Logano         Penske Ford                     175 laps
     Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota                  161 laps
     Cole Whitt          Swan Toyota                     151 laps
     Tony Raines         Circle Sport Chevrolet           87 laps
     Josh Wise           Front Row Ford                   84 laps
     Reed Sorenson       Leavine Ford                     68 laps
     Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                     29 laps
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NASCAR Chase opener hit by rain