Matt Kenseth drove to a hard fought win in the Food City 500 In Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday, holding off Chevrolet’s Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson in the rain-delayed race’s closing laps. Many usual front-runners fell victim to Bristol’s small confines and were collected in wrecks throughout the 511-lap battle, including Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.
A red flag was put on the race for weather on Lap 22 and would remain out until about four hours later. Penske teammates Keselowski and Logano managed to bring the race to a halt even earlier, however, with Keselowski breaking loose and sliding into the wall on Lap 19, bringing Logano with him. It was the first wreck of the day, and it would be far from the last.
Kurt Busch put the caution out on Lap 278 when he allowed his car to drift up into Johnson’s and collected six cars in a wreck. The race went yellow once more when Harvick, who had led a race-high 184 laps and was a favorite to win, was involved in an incident with Jeb Burton and Johnson, temporarily relegating him to the pits. Then-race leader Kyle Larson also sparked a caution period on Lap 365 when he nudged Landon Cassill’s left rear and sent him straight up into the wall.
Larson forfeited his leading position on Lap 437 after being forced to pit, handing the top position over to Busch. Kenseth eventually moved into first position when Bush elected to pit during a late-race caution and held off the field behind him under a green-white checkered flag. In behind him was Gordon and Johnson, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Newman. Chevy drivers occupied eight of the top ten positions once the checkered flag flew, with the bowtie narrowly missing out on the overall win.
Kenseth’s win moves him up to fifth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings. The series heads to Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia for the Toyota Owners 400 on April 25, and we’re sure many of the drivers will be happy to get away from the short-track after the rain-delayed, caution-filled fiasco that was the Food City 500. Click here for the full results from Sunday’s race, and watch the video below for a quick rundown of all the highlights.