Harvick rolls to win in rain-delayed Bristol race

BRISTOL, TN- After multiple rain delays, the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway was completed a day late on Sunday, and Kevin Harvick claimed his second win of the 2016 season.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Beer Chevrolet, poses with the winner's decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2016 in Bristol, Tennessee. The race was delayed due to inclement weather on Saturday, August 20. Credit: Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images

BRISTOL, TN- After multiple rain delays, the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway was completed a day late on Sunday, and Kevin Harvick claimed his second win of the 2016 season.

"We should have won a lot of races this year, but we just had things not go our way," Harvick said. "We made mistakes, or whatever the case may be, but to get back into victory lane here at Bristol feels really good. We've had some good cars here over the last few years. And to have Busch Beer on the car -- we've had crummy luck with these guys on the car, and so I'm just really happy for Busch and Jimmy John's and really proud of these guys on the No. 4 team."

Harvick, who also captured the event at Phoenix International Raceway in March, earned his second career Sprint Cup victory at Bristol but his first since 2005.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second, Denny Hamlin was third, and Austin Dillon finished fourth. Chris Buescher rounded out the top five, and, as a result, climbed into the top 30 of the points standings, making his win on Aug. 1 at Pocono Raceway count for a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship postseason.

"That was a lot of fun," Buescher said. "It's been a long time since we've come to the race track and enjoy it like that. We had some awesome speed out of our Love's Ford Fusion. I'm really proud of the team. This thing was good from the start of the weekend. We kept working our way up towards the end and got to the top five and almost got one there at the end, but I love Bristol. I absolutely love this race track."


Harvick, who started 24th, first took the lead on the 286th of 500 laps. He eventually lost the lead to Kyle Busch, but once Busch was knocked out of the race by a wreck, Harvick took over with about 100 laps remaining.

Harvick lost the lead to Hamlin on pit road during a caution just past lap 400, but a few laps after the restart, he moved back into the lead and remained up front the rest of the way.

The yellow flag and then the red flag waved one final time for a brief light rain with 66 laps remaining, but track drying efforts were able to keep up with the precipitation, and the race quickly restarted.

Busch dominated the first half of the race after taking the lead during Saturday night action. He took the lead on lap 23 and was up front when the race was halted for the night after the completion of 48 laps.

Busch restarted with the lead when the race resumed Sunday evening and led a total of 256 laps before he spun trying to get onto pit road just past lap 360. He previously reported a problem with a shock.

The incident also collected Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson and Justin Allgaier, who was filling in for Michael Annett in the No. 46 HScott Motorsports Chevrolet.

"It's a shame," Busch said. "The last few times we've been here, we've had really fast M&Ms Toyota Camrys, and we haven't been able to finish," Busch said. "We've been having parts failures here, so something we've got to address and fix. I'm really tired of losing races here with parts falling apart, so they'll hear about it on Tuesday. But the person that's really the biggest moron out there is the spotter of the 46 and the driver of the 46. I've been wrecking for half a lap, and they just come on through and clean us out. That's stupid, so I don't know -- frustrating day."

Right after the race restarted, the yellow flag was displayed again for another member of the Busch family, Kurt Busch. Kurt Busch spun from the second position, and his incident collected Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney and Matt Kenseth. Larson also was involved for the second straight incident in a handful of laps.


"I think I just missed the bottom groove by a few inches, got loose and the wreck was on," Busch said. "The way that our car was restarting, it felt comfortable; it felt good. That inside with the rosin and the VHT, if you don't hit it exactly right, you lose a lot of time. I tried to make up for it and got loose."

Larson was a front-runner early in the race but was shuffled toward the back because of a pit-road speeding penalty during a lap-86 caution. He had raced his way back toward the front before being collected in two on-track incidents.

NOTES: Jeff Gordon continued as substitute driver in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and he came in 10th. ... Three drivers in the race field -- Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Gordon -- each has five wins at Bristol Motor Speedway. ... Michael Annett was sidelined by flu-like symptoms. ... The lower portion of the track was "polished" with a sticky substance to increase traction since the Sprint Cup Series last visited in March in an attempt to get drivers to use the lower line on the track. ... Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson dominated the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Bristol on Friday night, but Sprint Cup driver Austin Dillon won the race. ... Pole sitter Carl Edwards won from the pole the last time the Sprint Cup Series visited Bristol in April. ... Joey Logano won last year's NRA Night Race.

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