Bristol NASCAR: Matt Kenseth wins after repeated rain delays

Matt Kenseth eventually took victory in a chaotic and repeatedly delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway

Bristol NASCAR: Matt Kenseth wins after repeated rain delays

Organisers persisted in their attempts to get the complete race distance run on Sunday despite rain coming and going throughout the afternoon and evening.

The weather caused an initial interruption of four hours early in the race, another shorter one just after half-distance and a final stoppage just after the scheduled 500 laps had been run, as a shower arrived during the build-up to a green-white-chequered finish.

NASCAR kept cars out under caution trying to dry the track at first, then decided to red flag the race once again and squeeze in one last sprint to the chequered flag between showers.

Polesitter Kenseth had brought his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the front amid a series of late incidents, and stayed there ahead of Jimmie Johnson through the eventual green-white-chequered to record his first win of the year, as a race that was due to begin just after 1pm local time finally finished at 10.30pm.

Johnson battled through to second despite involved in a number of incidents including a tangle with the lapped Jeb Burton that collected Kevin Harvick and David Ragan.

Jeff Gordon made it two Hendrick cars in the top three, ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart. The latter had been involved in a five-car pile-up less than 30 laps from the eventual finish, summing up the incident-packed day.

Among the others in trouble were the Penske team-mates, who crashed into each other early on when Brad Keselowski got sideways while trying to lap Alex Kennedy and collected Joey Logano.

Carl Edwards was also in contention at the front until lap 494 of the planned 500, when a restart incident with Jeff Gordon sent him into the wall and then into the path of Kurt Busch, ending both their hopes and caused the yellow under which the rain reappeared to prompt the final delay.

Denny Hamlin withdrew from the race when he suffered a neck spasm, but his Joe Gibbs Toyota continued in the hands of Xfinity Series frontrunner Erik Jones, who was rapidly called up as a stand-in.

RESULTS - 511 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car
1 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
2 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
3 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
4 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
5 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
6 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
7 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
8 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
9 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
10 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
11 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
12 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
13 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
14 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
15 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
16 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
17 Brett Moffitt Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
18 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford
19 Sam Hornish Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
20 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet
21 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota
22 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Ford
23 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
24 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
25 Chris Buescher Front Row Motorsports Ford
26 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
27 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford
28 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford
29 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
30 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
31 Mike Bliss Go FAS Racing Ford
32 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota
33 Alex Kennedy Circle Sport Chevrolet
34 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
35 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
36 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet
37 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
38 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
39 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Ford
40 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
41 David Ragan Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
42 Jeb Burton BK Racing Toyota
43 Landon Cassill Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet

LEADING CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Kevin Harvick 314
2 Joey Logano 284
3 Martin Truex Jr. 281
4 Jimmie Johnson 258
5 Brad Keselowski 255
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 241
7 Kasey Kahne 237
8 Matt Kenseth 236
9 Jeff Gordon 227
10 Aric Almirola 226
11 Denny Hamlin 223
12 Jamie McMurray 223
13 Danica Patrick 211
14 Paul Menard 210
15 Carl Edwards 203
16 Ryan Newman 201
17 Clint Bowyer 200
18 David Ragan 197
19 Casey Mears 186
20 Greg Biffle 180
21 Austin Dillon 177
22 Kurt Busch 174
23 Kyle Larson 173
24 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 172
25 A.J. Allmendinger 171

Provisionally in the Chase: Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth

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