Bristol, Tenn. – Kyle Busch overtook the spinning cars of Tyler Reddick and Chase Brisco to steal their first Cup win of the season at the slick, wet, dirt-covered Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday night.
Reddick, chasing the first cup win of his career, led 99 laps out of 250, and controlled the race from the final restart with 24 laps remaining. But lapped traffic allowed Briscoe to close on Reddick and he timed his move for the win for the third turn, when Briscoe tried to smack his way from inside Reddick.
The move backfired and both cars spiraled out of control and Bush, who was running in third place, ran smoothly for his first win.
“We have one, you know?” Bush said. “It doesn’t matter how you get them, it’s all about getting them.”
Busch won the Cup for his ninth time in Bristol – the first time in two dirt races – and was buoyed by the smattering of fans, who waited for two rain delays, which saw the first race on Easter Sunday since 1989 be delayed by nearly four hours. pushed up.
Reddick finished second and blamed himself for not holding off Brisco. Brisco moved to 22nd place two turns away from the win and immediately found Reddick apologizing on the pit road.
“I’m sorry, I just wanted to tell you,” Brisco said.
Rain stopped the race for the second time, before the race turned green with 30 laps remaining.
“It’s disgusting,” Bush, who was running second on the track because of the rain, said of the conditions.
From inside his cockpit, Reddick knew his job was over if he had to win.
“One of the best in stock car racing, Kyle Busch, he’s definitely going to earn me this,” said Reddick from inside his Chevrolet.
But Brisco overtook Busch when the rain finally stopped and Brisco ruined Reddick’s winning streak.
The race was NASCAR’s second attempt at running a cup race on dirt and it turned into a wet and muddy mystery when rain halted racing and most drivers seemed clueless about the rules.
Bristol dumps more than 2,300 truckloads of Tennessee red clay onto its beloved concrete 0.533-mile bullring to help NASCAR add variety to the schedule at a time when the stock car series is experimenting with radical changes. Fox Sports then convinced NASCAR to take the prime-time television slot on Easter Sunday, the first time since NASCAR’s 1949 founding that the Cup Series had deliberately chosen the date.
NASCAR has held the last 10 Cup races on Easter Sunday in its history, but all due to season-related rescheduling. This purposeful event was designed to dominate the television audience gathered together as a family, the way the NFL and NBA do on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
What new spectators saw was confusion mid-race as few drivers understood the rules during the first stoppage. Some drivers pitched – probably because their teams knew that scoring had been halted under a red flag and would not resume until the race was green.
Bush was among the many drivers who did not make potholes – probably because he assumed he would lead in the running sequence. So it was Bush who put his car in front when NASCAR halted all activity, but Briscoe, who had lined up, scored as the leader.
Denny Hamlin, who had already dropped out of the race, was watching on Fox Sports and saw what he claimed was a rules clarification that lasted more than a minute.
“What’s wrong with this picture,” Hamlin wrote on Twitter. “As a fan sitting on my ass watching right now, it’s hard to take this seriously.”
Carson Hosever, runner-up in Saturday night’s Truck Series race, reported that NASCAR was making rules as it went along. In fact, NASCAR was clear in its pre-race rules video that scoring would stop at the end of the stage and would not resume until the race was green again.
Up and down the pothole road indicated that some had a clear understanding of the procedures, which was different from all other Cup races in Bristol. NASCAR held a mandatory pre-race driver meeting before the pandemic to discuss the rules; It has since been replaced by a video.
The race resumed – with Brisco as leader – with the entire third stage still remaining.