BUSCH: Kentucky race halted for rain

The Kroger 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Kentucky Speedway was stopped on lap 86 (of 200) when heavy rains doused the racetrack at about 9:30 pm. tonight. The shower was brief, though, so the speedway's track crew began to dry the track as soon...

The Kroger 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Kentucky Speedway was stopped on lap 86 (of 200) when heavy rains doused the racetrack at about 9:30 pm. tonight. The shower was brief, though, so the speedway's track crew began to dry the track as soon as the rains had stopped. At 11:30 pm, the track was nearly ready to race and the rains came again. The race will be completed beginning at 1 pm tomorrow afternoon. The Goody's Dash series race, scheduled to follow the Busch race tonight, will also run on Sunday.

Greg Biffle will restart as the leader after he got a strong restart from the race's fourth caution flag on lap 73. When the rains came, the race had been slowed for the fifth time by a crash involving Jack Sprague, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., and Larry Foyt. Sprague, running sixth, had gotten loose in turn 4 and spun into Hamilton, sending them both into the outside wall. As other drivers tried to avoid that wreck, Foyt was hit and sent hard into the wall near the start-finish line.

At the start of the race, pole-sitter Scott Riggs took the lead and pulled out to a 4 car-length lead over second-qualifier Jay Sauter, with Sprague, Jason Keller, and Foyt falling in line behind. Before the leaders could complete a full lap, two cars, driven by Todd Bodine and Stanton Barrett, drifted wide in turn 3. Bodine caught his slide, but Barrett spun into the wall and was out of the race. Bodine fell back from the top ten to 18th place.

When the green flag flew again to start the third lap, Ron Hornaday Jr. made one of his famous restarts, coming from 9th position to pass Sauter for second place. Scott Wimmer also started well and passed Sauter on lap four and Hornaday on lap five.

The race stayed green until lap 36, when Hank Parker Jr. had contact with Johnny Sauter in turn 2 and spun hard into the wall. Parker's car was too damaged to continue. Prior to that yellow, the front group was having a great battle, with Riggs leading Jay Sauter, Wimmer, Keller, Ricky Hendrick, Biffle, and Sprague, all of them lined up nose-to-tail. Hendrick had been especially impressive over the segment, passing eight cars in that time.

After two caution periods for spins with wall contact by Mike Harmon (lap 41 in turn 3) and Mike McLaughlin (helped into a turn 1 spin by Mike Wallace on lap 68), the stage was set for Biffle's restart for the lead. The top ten for the restart tomorrow, will be Biffle, Keller, Jay Sauter, Tim Sauter, Tony Raines, Brian Vickers, Mike Wallace, Randy LaJoie, Kevin Lepage, and Kevin Grubb.

Several cars that had been running at or near the front made pit stops under caution just before the rain, so should be able to do well when the race is restarted, despite being back in the field. Hornaday, Hendrick, Joe Nemechek, Todd Bodine, Casey Mears, Ashton Lewis Jr., and Wimmer are at the back of the order but have full tanks and fresh tires that the leaders do not. Nemechek and Stacy Compton are qualified for tomorrow's Winston Cup race at Michigan International Speedway tomorrow, so will need substitute drivers for whichever race they decide to miss. NASCAR All-Pro driver David Reutimann will replace Nemechek at Kentucky, but Compton, who is 10th in Busch series points, has not announced his plans.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Todd Bodine , Jason Keller , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , Hank Parker Jr. , Jay Sauter , Mike Wallace , Stacy Compton , Casey Mears , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Mike McLaughlin , Larry Foyt , Tony Raines , Jack Sprague , Kevin Grubb , Scott Riggs , Mike Harmon , Tim Sauter , Johnny Sauter , Scott Wimmer , David Reutimann , Stanton Barrett , Brian Vickers , Ashton Lewis