Kurt Busch wins rain-shortened NASCAR race in Michigan

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Kurt Busch won his second NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season, a rain-shortened event at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday that was called 62 laps short of its scheduled distance.

The fourth weather-related red flag of the day came after lap 138 of a scheduled 200. Busch was leading at the time, and he was declared the winner after heavy rain soaked the track. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second, followed by Martin Truex Jr.

With the rain approaching, Kyle Larson did his best to stay in the lead, but with fuel running low, he came to pit on lap 133, giving up the lead to Busch.

The first three red flags, on laps 14, 20 and 46, delayed the race for a total of over two hours.

Kevin Harvick led for 63 laps, but a tire problem knocked him well back. He finished 29th, only the second time all year he’s been out of the top 10. Harvick did stay atop the Cup standings, leading by 15 points over Truex.

Pole winner Kasey Kahne was 15th.

Busch’s victory in his No. 41 Chevrolet was part of a huge weekend for Chevy, which took the top three spots in this Cup race while also winning in the IndyCar Series and in the GTE Pro category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This was Busch’s third career Cup win at MIS and first since 2007. It’s his first multi-win season in NASCAR’s top series since 2011.

This was supposed to be a 400-mile, 200-lap race, but the weather made that a tough task from the start. The first red flag delayed the race for about an hour, and the second stoppage came not long after that. Laps 12 through 28 were all under caution, and the third red flag came during a competition caution.

Almost immediately after the race went green following the third red flag, Kyle Busch went into the wall. That was the end of his race.

The bad weather held off for a while after that — until the rain returned with a vengeance. First came the yellow flag, then red. The grandstands were evacuated, and the rest of the race was eventually canceled.

Busch was already in good shape to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, having won at Richmond in April. The shortened Michigan race was a missed opportunity for several drivers with no wins, like Larson, Kahne and Jeff Gordon.

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