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NASCAR Cup: Food City 500 resumes Monday with Kyle Larson as leader

BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 15: The field sits on pit road during a red flag rain delay during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 15, 2018 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR fought Mother Nature at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway and Mother Nature won, postponing the remainder of the Food City 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race until 1 p.m. ET Monday. After multiple rain delay’s the race, scheduled for 500 laps, got to lap 204 before a final rain delay that resulted in NASCAR throwing in the towel.

Kyle Larson will be the leader when the race resumes Monday, with Denny Hamlin alongside in second. Also restarting in the top-five will be Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

After Busch started on the pole and led the first 16 laps, Ryan Blaney took the lead and ran up front for 100 laps before being collected in a multi-car wreck on lap 118. His car sustained significant enough damage that he retired from the race.

“I didn’t see much to be honest with you,” Blaney said. “By the time I could see anything, they were already turned right and there was nowhere to go. Seeing the replay, I don’t know, people not cleared clearing themselves, and then, wrecking and take the leader out, so that’s unfortunate. Our car was pretty good today. We just kind of got held up, there, and we might not have been as strong at the end of that run, but I thought we could have at least held on for that stage and never got the chance. The positives you look at is that we had a good car and that’s something to hold your head high about.”

Pit strategies varied throughout the remainder of the laps completed on Sunday through the eight cautions that included the yellow at the end of the first stage on lap 125.

Brad Keselowski won the first stage of the race, the only stage completed Sunday. He battled Blaney for the lead before Blaney was collected. Keselowski assumed the lead, and while the other frontrunners pitted during the caution, he stayed out. Five other cars running near the back of the lead lap also stayed out, giving him a cushion between himself and seventh-place Kyle Busch on new tires.

The race ran green for only one lap before the stage ended, and Keselowski was able to maintain his lead. Keselowski, then, gave up the lead to pit at the end of the stage, handing the lead over to Larson, who pitted during the lap-118 yellow flag.

After taking the lead, Larson was a mainstay up front until Sunday’s race was red-flagged for the fourth and final time Sunday. The race was red-flagged three times for rain on lap 50, during a caution that came for rain on lap 155, and finally on lap 204. The race also was red-flagged for track cleanup from the multi-car wreck that collected Blaney.

“t’s hard to get a rhythm with all the rain and stuff and, then, getting out of your car and getting back in,” Larson said. “Our McDonald’s Chevy is really fast. I would just like to get some racing going, but then again, I feel like I always do better or do worse once the track gets a bunch of rubber on it, so if we keep getting all these stops and jet dryers and stuff to take the rubber off the track, maybe it will help us out. But feeling good about it so far.”

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Posted by on April 15, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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