Kahne wins rain shorten Michigan

Kasey Kahne was in the right place at the right time with 71 laps to go at Michigan International Raceway. Rain was the storyline all afternoon, delaying the start of the race and slowing the field several times. As weather radar warned of ...

Kasey Kahne was in the right place at the right time with 71 laps to go at Michigan International Raceway. Rain was the storyline all afternoon, delaying the start of the race and slowing the field several times.

As weather radar warned of approaching storms, Kahne and the No. 9 Dodge team chose not to pit on what would be the race's final stops at lap 126. That decision proved to be a winning one, as the rain began to hammer the track a few laps later.

After a brief red flag, NASCAR called the race giving Kahne his fourth win from the pole position this season.

"This was pretty crazy to win in the rain," said Kahne. "We were in the right place at the end, but we did have the best car."

Carl Edwards was second, "I had a great race. I had a great car, and my pit crew - to come back by that debacle at Pocono, they did a great job. Kasey beat me off there (pit road) by just a foot.it was still a blast, I had a good time."

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Greg Biffle and Reed Sorenson complete the top five.

"We had a great car," said Earnhardt. "We'll take a third place; we have not really ever had a good car here so I am excited about coming back here."

After an hour delay for rain and several caution laps, Kasey Kahne finally brought the field to the green flag but a quick caution slowed the field. Jeff Gordon led on the restart but only got to lap 11 before the rain began to fall again.

Gordon continued to lead on the restart at lap 19. On lap 22, the third caution emerged when Tony Stewart took a hard lick into the turn three wall. After pit stops, Kyle Busch took the lead when the No. 5 Chevy team decided to stay out.

Busch was still the leader on lap 32 when a wreck involving JJ Yeley, Jamie McMurray, Ken Schrader and Joe Nemechek caused the fourth yellow. The cars that did not pit the last time around came in during that caution allowing Kahne t o grab the lead. Gordon quickly passed the No. 9 Dodge and the two jockeyed for position for the next several laps before Kahne was forced to pit under green due to overheating issues.

Different pit strategies saw the lead change between several drivers as the race approached halfway. Carl Edwards was in the lead when the race reached the official mark but a caution on lap 112 bit into the one-second lead he had achieved on the field.

The top cars pitted with Reed Sorenson making a two-tire stop and grabbing the top spot but he couldn't hold off Kahne (on four fresh tires) who sailed past for the lead. On lap 126, rain began to pepper the race track again bringing out the ninth caution.

Several cars pitted, but Kahne remained the leader. As the rain came down harder, NASCAR red-flagged the event with 71 laps to go. The heavy rain forced NASCAR to call the event when it became apparent there was no hope of running it to completion.

Jimmie Johnson continues to lead NASCAR Nextel Cup point standings. Matt Kenseth (-74), Kasey Kahne (-244), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (-275), Mark Martin (-306), Tony Stewart (-367), Jeff Burton (-407), Kevin Harvick (-446), Denny Hamlin (-486) and Greg Biffle (-488) complete the top ten.

There were nine cautions for 36 laps and 17 lead changes among 10 drivers.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Carl Edwards , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin