NASCAR Bristol: Kyle Busch wins with bump-and-run pass on Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch won a rain-delayed NASCAR Cup race at Bristol after a late pass of long-time leader Kyle Larson.
The race was split across two days after rain caused an overnight postponement after 204 of the 500 laps had been completed.
Larson was the overnight leader after the first day’s running and led much of the remaining distance that took place today.
Busch ran close to Larson for most of the way but fell back in the later stages with severe tyre wear.
He was rescued however by a full course yellow with 30 laps left when Brad Keselowski’s tyre failed. Following both pitting under the yellow Busch then got ahead of Larson with six laps left thanks to a ‘bump-and-run’ pass.
Earlier Larson somehow stayed out of the wall after being tipped into a spin by Ryan Newman when lapping him. Newman accused Larson of cutting across his nose.
Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson had his strongest race of the season and finished third after running among the leaders throughout. His best finish previously in 2018 was ninth.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr finished fourth after an eventful race. He made up much ground on the leaders in the final 100 laps after being one of the few to pit under a caution due to a small rain shower with just over 100 laps left. Others were reluctant to pit in case NASCAR declared a final result due to the weather.
Stenhouse had also recovered from earlier being off the lead lap after multiple stops to repair rear damage sustained at the start of Monday’s running.
Newman had a slow restart and Stenhouse behind him was hit in the resultant concertina.
Penske’s Keselowski also fought among the leaders for much of the way, winning the first two stages, but he fell back in the final 100 laps with deteriorating handling and heavy wear on his left front tyre which eventually failed.
Kevin Harvick recovered to finish seventh after pitting twice under a full course yellow with around 150 laps left due to a loose wheel which dropped him back to 15th place.
Today’s racing resumption also was delayed by around half an hour due to rain mixed with some sleet in low temperatures arriving just before the scheduled start.
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April 16, 2018 at 12:59PM