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NASCAR NEWS 

Bristol NASCAR: Kenseth leads as rain causes race to be red-flagged

Bristol NASCAR

The NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway has been red-flagged at quarter-distance due to rain, with Matt Kenseth leading.

Bad weather had forced the start of the race to be delayed by almost two hours and when the fourth round of the season eventually got underway there were still plenty of dark clouds overhead.

Rain started to fall on lap 118 and though Kenseth's Joe Gibbs Toyota led the field for half a dozen laps under full-course yellows the race was then halted after little more than 45 minutes of racing.

Jamie McMurray held second at the stoppage, with Las Vegas winner and early race leader Brad Keselowski third. Kurt Busch and series points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr, who started 14th, complete the top five. Poleman Denny Hamlin was running eighth.

Three frontrunners have already hit serious problems. Jeff Gordon ran third early on but collided with David Ragan in the pitlane and dropped down the order as a result, while Jimmie Johnson - who led the middle third of this part of the race - suffered a front-right puncture and plummeted to 39th, three laps down.

Joey Logano, another erstwhile race leader, suffered a power steering failure and is one lap down in 28th.

There is no immediate concern over the race continuing, with running under floodlights tonight or at lunchtime on Monday both an option to race organisers.

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