Kenseth wins longest Bristol race in NASCAR history

11 cautions, four rain delays and a GWC dragged the race out for over eight hours.

After multiple rain delays stretched the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up 2 Cancer NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway into a Sunday night affair, Matt Kenseth snapped a 51-race winless streak and returned to victory lane at Thunder Valley. It was Kenseth's fourth win at Bristol but his first in the spring race at the track.

"I was getting tired of that stat," Kenseth said of his winless streak.

"We had really good short run speed today," Kenseth added. "With the way the race turned out, we lucked out having a good short-run car."

Gordon and Johnson rebound

Jeff Gordon overcame a loose wheel that put him two laps down on lap 206 and slight involvement in an on-track incident to place third. Jimmie Johnson was caught up in two accidents, but recovered with significant rear-end damage to finish an impressive second.

"On Friday we were pretty far off, so I've got to take my hat off to this Lowe's team," Johnson said.

It all goes wrong for Edwards

Kenseth's JGR teammate Carl Edwards led a number of laps himself and looked like the favorite to take the checkered flag. However, Edwards bid for a win went away when he made contact with the outside wall with just six laps to go in the 500-lap scheduled distance. Kurt Busch then ran into the back of him and both crashed.

That accident put the race into overtime, but was halted by rain once again. The race was scheduled to start just after 1, didn't get going until we got closer to 2:30ish when the Penske duo wrecked, was then delayed for four hours from 3 to 7 and lastly, for 20 minutes just past 10. 

"I'm so happy we were able to get this thing finished under green for the fans," Gordon said.

Harvick taken out after dominating performance

Kenseth started from pole, but lost the top spot to Kevin Harvick on lap six. Harvick dominated the first half of the race, leading 184 laps before heading to the garage after being involved in a wreck initiated by Johnson and also took out David Ragan.

During Harvick's stint up front, he had the company of Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch. Busch was involved in another Johnson incident on lap 279, spinning out but was able to fight his way back to the lead. On a late caution, he gave up the lead to pit, which was followed by his aforementioned collision with Edwards.

Best of the rest

Kyle Larson also spent a lot of time up front during the race's second half after he stayed out on the track during a lap 366 caution. He remained up front until giving up the lead to pit under green with just over 60 laps to go, but ended up with a top ten nonetheless.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fourth, Ryan Newman was fifth, Tony Stewart sixth, Larson seventh, Justin Allgaier eighth, Danica Patrick ninth, and Austin Dillon rounded out the top-10.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Event Bristol
Sub-event Sunday race
Track Bristol Motor Speedway
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Justin Allgaier , Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , Austin Dillon , Danica Patrick , Kyle Larson
Article type Race report
Tags jgr, joe gibbs racing