Busch cap­tures rain-de­layed Cup Se­ries race at Bris­tol

Wins sec­ond straight race

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS - By Steve Reed

BRIS­TOL, TENN. » Kyle Busch stood on the hood of his No. 18 Toy­ota shak­ing his fists as the snow be­gan fall­ing around him. It was that kind of a long week­end at Bris­tol Mo­tor Speed­way.

Busch won the rain-de­layed race at the half-mile track on a cold, dark Mon­day for his sec­ond straight Cup Se­ries vic­tory. He also won last week­end at Texas.

Busch passed Kyle Lar­son with five laps re­main­ing fol­low­ing a restart with 22 laps left.

It was Busch’s 45th ca­reer Cup win and marks the fifth time that he has won back-to-back races. It also was Busch’s sev­enth win at Bris­tol.

A frus­trated Lar­son fin­ished sec­ond while Jim­mie John­son was third, earn­ing his first top-five fin­ish of the sea­son. Ricky Sten­house Jr. was fourth and Alex Bow­man fin­ished fifth.

Lar­son led 200 of the 500 laps but had to hold off Busch and Sten­house af­ter the last restart. He did for a while, but Busch passed him and be­gan to pull away.

Brad Ke­selowski won the first two stages and ap­peared to be the car to beat. How­ever, the No. 2 Ford strug­gled on a long green­flag run late in the race and fell two laps be­hind af­ter ra­dio­ing in that some­thing broke in his sus­pen­sion. Ke­selowski hit the wall with 30 laps left, bring­ing out the fi­nal cau­tion.

Lar­son was lead­ing when the race was post­poned Sun­day with 296 laps re­main­ing af­ter be­ing de­layed sev­eral times be­cause of rain. The race also was de­layed Mon­day for about 35 min­utes, but the cars fi­nally got back on the track af­ter the rain and sleet sub­sided. WHO’S HOT » Daniel Suarez raced with a frac­tured thumb he suf­fered last week at Texas and fin­ished in 11th place. Now that de­serves a thumbs-up. WHO’S NOT » Mar­tin Truex Jr. con­tin­ues to have a dif­fi­cult time fol­low­ing up a tremen­dous cham­pi­onship sea­son in 2017. He was in a wreck on Sun­day and raced Mon­day with­out a hood, say­ing his goal was to “stay out of the way” of the other driv­ers. He has just one win so far this sea­son. WAL­LACE GETS A LEAD » Dar­rell “Bubba” Wal­lace now knows that it is like to run up front in a Cup Se­ries race.

Wal­lace passed Busch, the pole sit­ter, with 126 laps re­main­ing to lead a Cup race for the first time in his young ca­reer. It didn’t last long, though, as Busch passed Wal­lace a short time later be­fore a brief yel­low flag for rain. UP NEXT » NASCAR moves on to an­other short track next week­end at Rich­mond Mo­tor Speed­way. Joey Logano won that race last spring. More AP auto rac­ing: https://rac­ing.ap.org

WADE PAYNE — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Food City pres­i­dent and CEO, Steve Smith, left, holds the tro­phy with race win­ner Kyle Busch af­ter a NASCAR Cup Se­ries auto race, Mon­day in Bris­tol, Tenn.

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