First, the rain washed things out Saturday night. Then, it threatened to do so Sunday—again and again and again.
But once the clouds cleared enough to go racing, Kevin Harvick stood tall.
The No. 4 Chevrolet led 128 laps on its way to taking the 2016 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
It was Harvick's second win of the 2016 Sprint Cup season, moving him into third place in the standings. Harvick has the overall points lead over Brad Keselowski by 27; the two are the only drivers with 700-plus points:
|NASCAR at Bristol Results|
|2||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|Chase for the Sprint Cup Standings|
|10||Martin Truex Jr.||630||1|
The Stewart-Haas Racing product dominated the second half of the race to give his team its first win at the hallowed short track. It was also Harvick's second win at Bristol.
Originally scheduled to race Saturday night, drivers had to sit through multiple delays before the race was moved to 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. Another storm delayed that start for hours, and there were multiple breaks to dry the track once the event finally got underway.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. battled through the frustrating weekend to finish second. Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Chris Buescher rounded out the top five. Buescher, the 23-year-old who shocked the world to win in the rain at Pocono Raceway, now has enough points to move into the Chase.
Adam Alexander of Fox Sports 1 offered his thoughts:
Almost the entire first half of the race belonged to Kyle Busch, who led a race-high 256 laps. His No. 18 wound up spinning out after suffering a broken right-rear shock, wiping out Martin Truex Jr. in the process. Justin Allgaier then hit Busch after the initial wreck, all of which left the defending champion frustrated.
"The last few times we’ve been here, we’ve had really fast M&M’s Toyota Camrys and we haven’t been able to finish," Busch said, per Tom Jensen of Fox Sports. "We’ve been having parts failures here. So it’s something we got to address an fix. I’m really tired of losing races here with parts falling apart."
The Orange Cone had a different opinion:
“The person that’s the biggest moron out there is the spotter on the No. 46 and the driver of the No. 46," Busch said, per Jensen. "I’d been wrecking for half a lap, and they just came through and cleaned us out. That’s stupid.”
Also fighting for the lead, Kurt Busch's day ended on a mistake of his own. Busch got loose while battling with Joey Logano and was hit from behind by Keselowski. The crash also took out Matt Kenseth and Ryan Blaney.
“I think I just missed the bottom groove by a few inches, got loose, and the wreck was on," Kurt Busch said, per Joe Menzer of Fox Sports. "The way that our car was restarting it felt comfortable, it felt good. That inside (groove) with the rosin and the VHT, if you don’t hit it exactly right you lose a lot of time."
It was the first time Kurt Busch has not completed every lap in a race this season. His 22-race mark broke the record Dale Earnhardt Jr. set in 2012.
The story was Harvick, though, who should be the favorite for the Sprint Cup championship. It would be the second in three years for Harvick since he moved to Stewart-Haas after a storied run with Richard Childress.
With that said, a lot can change over the next couple of months heading into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.