Highlights of the Food City 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Monday (and Sunday) at Bristol Motor Speedway:
WINNER: Kyle Busch remained sizzling hot, taking the lead on Kyle Larson with six laps remaining and winning for the second consecutive week after prevailing at Texas the previous weekend.
The race was postponed by heavy rain Sunday after 204 of the 500 laps and resumed Monday.
Busch has been on a roll in his last six races, finishing first twice, second three times and third once. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver and 2015 series champion won his seventh career Cup race at Bristol, most among active drivers.
Larson, who led for 200 laps, finished second. Jimmie Johnson had by far his best finish of a difficult season, finishing third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Alex Bowman.
Bubba Wallace, the first full-time black driver in the Cup series since 1971, led for six laps in the third stage, the first laps he has led in his rookie season. but fell back and finished 16th.
Keselowski meets wall: Brad Keselowski, one of the race’s leaders, slapped the wall with 31 laps to go after a tire issue, bringing out a caution and wiping out leader Kyle Larson’s five-second advantage over second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Keselowski’s Ford suffered minor damage.
Rain? Really? No one should have been surprised after two days of nasty weather, but rain returned with 110 laps to go, prompting a brief caution flag. Kyle Busch held a 1.1-second lead over Kyle Larson.
Bubba’s outburst: Darrell “Bubba” Wallace led for the first time in his Cup career, staying out front from lap 375 to 380 in Richard Petty Motorsports’ bright red and blue No. 43. Seventy laps later, Wallace had fallen off the lead lap. Monday’s race was his 12th in the series.
Newman vs. Larson: Contact from Ryan Newman sent Kyle Larson sliding through the center of the track on lap 324. Larson, who had one of the race’s strongest cars, avoided contact with the wall and stayed on the lead lap.
Stage two: Keselowski outran Kyle Busch to win the race’s second stage on lap 250, making the race official after two days of racing. Following in the top 10 were Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon and Darrell Wallace Jr.
Rain, sleet, locusts? Persistent precipitation in the eastern Tennessee mountains delayed the restart of the race after weather forced officials to suspend the event after 204 laps Sunday. A mixture of rain and sleet fell on the track around lunchtime Monday, and track dryers were busy much of the day. Cars finally returned to the track at 1:32 p.m. ET, about a half-hour later than scheduled.