Monday Racing in Thunder Valley

After taking a break for the Easter holiday, NASCAR returns for some short track racing in Thunder Valley at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500.

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On Friday practices were cut short or canceled and qualifying for the Monster Energy Cup Series was canceled and the starting lineup has been set by car owner points due to rain.

Set for a 1pm start on Sunday April 23, the Food City 500 was postponed by heavy rains and is set to run on Monday April 24.

Points leader Kyle Larson will sit on the pole to sweep the weekend – he also sat on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race.

The starting lineup for the Food City 500:
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott
Martin Truex Jr
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Busch
Jamie McMurray
Clint Bowyer
Kevin Harvick
Jimmie Johnson
Trevor Bayne
Ryan Newman
Erik Jones
Kurt Busch
Denny Hamlin
Kasey Kahne
Aric Almirola
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Austin Dillon
Matt Kenseth
Daniel Suarez
Ty Dillon
AJ Allmendinger
Paul Menard
Chris Buescher – moved to the back of the field in a backup car
Michael McDowell
Danica Patrick
Landon Cassill
Cole Whitt
Matt DiBenedetto
David Ragan
Reed Sorenson
Corey LaJoie
Gray Gaulding
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Timmy Hill
Derrike Cope

Stages one and two are 125 laps each with stage three lasting 250 laps.

There are no garages at Bristol; as a result, the cars were covered but left out in the elements during the rain and some teams had damp car interiors.

After all the rain, NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 60; drivers may stop on pit road for service but may not fuel their cars until that competition caution.

After over 28 straight hours of rain, the Food City 500 will finally get underway when polesitter Kyle Larson takes the green flag and leads the field down the front stretch.

Lap six Kyle Larson has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on second place drive Chase Elliott.

ON lap 10 that lead has increased to over a second.

Lap 13 Larson has increased his lead to over a second and a half on second place driver Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 18 leader Kyle Larson has already begun lapping cars with 37 cars on the lead lap. After starting at the back of the field, Chris Buescher has moved up eleven spots.

Lap 35 Kyle Larson has a lead of over two seconds on Martin Truex Jr with 28 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 42, the number 42 car of Kyle Larson has a lead of over two seconds with 26 cars on the lead lap.

The first caution flag comes out on lap 55 when Kurt Busch gets loose and hits the inside wall. Chris Buescher ran into Reed Sorenson trying to slow down after Busch’s crash. NASCAR has deemed this the competition caution. Ty Dillon is the “lucky dog”.

On the five minute clock, Kurt Busch’s crew is working on his car to get the car repaired and back on the track.

Kyle Larson leads the race off of pit road.

Kurt Busch has returned to the track three laps down.

Track cleanup is taking longer because Chris Buescher’s radiator lost all of its liquid on the track. He becomes the first driver out of the race.

NASCAR has displayed the red flag stopping the race while they get the track cleaned up.

With 57 laps remaining in stage one, NASCAR has once again displayed the caution flag.

On lap 71 Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart and pulls out in front of the field from the outside lane.

Lap 77 Kyle Larson has a narrow lead on second place driver Chase Elliott.

Lap 85 Larson has increased his lead to over half a second.

Lap 88 Kyle Larson has a second and a half lead over second place driver Erik Jones. There are 32 drivers on the lead lap.

Lap 103 Kyle Larson has led every lap so far. He has a three second lead on second place driver Martin Truex Jr. with 25 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 112 Kyle Larson continues to dominate the race with a lead of nearly two seconds on Martin Truex Jr.

Kyle Larson wins stage one after leading all 125 laps.

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The top 10 after stage one:
Kyle Larson
Martin Truex Jr
Erik Jones
Joey Logano
Jimmie Johnson
Chase Elliott
Jamie McMurray
Denny Hamlin
AJ Allmendinger
Kyle Busch

Ryan Blaney has power steering issues.

Kyle Larson wins the race off of pit road.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage tow on lap 138 and pulls out in front of the field from the outside lane.

Lap 145 Kyle Larson has a lead of just over half a second on second place driver Joey Logano. There are 23 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 155 Kyle Larson’s lead is down to less than a quarter of a second on Joey Logano with 23 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 165 Kyle Larson continues to dominate the race with 23 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 175 Kyle Larson’s lead is nearly a second on Joey Logano with 23 laps on the lead lap.

Lap 185 Joye Logano challenges Kyle Larson for the lead but so far, Larson has held him off. There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 195 Kyle Larson has increased his lead to over half a second with 22 cars on the lead lap. Martin Truex Jr challenges Kyle Larson for the lead of the race, but Larson holds a slight lead on lap 200. Truex is on Larson’s bumper continueing to challenge and on lap 202 Martin Truex Jr passes Kyle Larson to take over the lead of the race and begins to pull away.

The third caution flag comes out on lap 206 when Kyle Busch cuts a tire, spins out, and hits the wall. Ty Dillon is the “lucky dog” for the third time.

Ryan Blaney has taken his car behind the wall with mechanical issues.

Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart with 33 laps remaining in stage two, but the fourth caution flag comes out before the end of the lap when Dale Earnhardt Jr hits the wall after having some fluid on his right front tire.

Dale Jr’s team takes his car behind the wal with some mechanical issues and is out of the race.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 223 and puls out to lead the race.

Lap 235 Martin Truex Jr has a half second lead on second place driver Joey Logano.

Aric Almirola’s car si smoking and he brngs the car down pit road.

With seven laps remaining in stage two, there are only four cars on the lead lap. Aric Almirola is back on the track.

Lap 245 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano.

Martin Truex Jr wins stage two. Cole Whitt is the “lucky dog”.

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The top 10 drivers at the end of stage two:
Martine Truex Jr
Joey Logano
Jimmie Johnson
Kevin Harvick
Jamie McMurray
Erik Jones
Kyle Larson
Denny Hamlin
Trevor Bayne
Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Taking only two tires, Denny Hanlin wins the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Landon Cassill will lead the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 260. Martin Truex Jr passes to take over the lead of the race.

Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr are fighting for the lead, but so far Truex continues to lead the race.

Ryan Blaney has returned to the track after making power steering repairs 47 laps down.

Jamie McMurray is reporting some tire issues; Trevor Bayne is also reporting some smoking tire issues. FOX broadcaster Darrell Waltrip states that he believes the issues are due to low tire pressures.

Brad Keselowski is reporting that he is having steering issues.

Lap 275 Martin Truex Jr has a loead of over a second on second place driver Kevin Harvick.

Kyle Busch is repoirting some issues with the car.

Lap 280 Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds with 25 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 288 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over two and a half seconds on second place driver Kyle Larson.

Lap 293 Brad Keselowski brings his car down pit road with a possible loose wheel.

Lap 296 Martin Truex Jr has a three second lead on second place driver Joey Logano.

Daniel Suarez is four laps down after bringing his car down pit road for an extended stop.

Lap 310 Martin Truex Jr has a near three second lead on Joey Lognao. There are 17 cars on the lead lap.

Brad Keselowski is back on pit road with some car issues. He has taken the car behind the wall for mechanical issues.

Lap 322 Martin Truex Jr has increased his lead to over four seconds on second place drier Joey Logano with 17 cars on the lead lap.

David Ragan brings out the sixth caution flag after he spins out and hits the wall after making contact with Danica Patrick who also hits the wall. Landon Cassill was also involved in the wreck.

Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road.

Clint Bowyer is caught speeding on pit road.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the gree flag restart on lap 329 and holds on to the lead of the race but is being challenged by Kyle Larson.

Lap 339 there are races for position all through the field. Joey Logano holds on to a slim lead on Martin Truex Jr with 19 cars on the lead lap.

With 147 laps remaining in the race, Joey Logano has a lead of less than a quarter of a second on Martin Truex Jr with 18 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 363 Joey Logano has a lead of just under half a second on second place driver Kyle Larson.

Lap 372 Joey Logano has increased his lead to over half a second on Kyle Larson.

Lap 380 Joey Logano’s lead is a second on Kyle Larson.

Kyle Busch takes his car behind the wall after bringing out the caution flag when he cuts a tire and scrapes the wall. Kyle Busch is out of the race.

Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road.

Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman are caught speeding on pit road.

Brad Keselowski has returned to the race 67 laps down.

Joye Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 393 and holds off Jimmie Johnson for the lead but on lap 395 Jimmie Johnson takes over the lead of the race.

Lap 398 Jimmie Johnson has a half second lead on Joey Logano.

Lap 410 Jimmie Johnson holds on to the lead of the race with 18 cars on the lead lap.

Loey Logano gives Jimmie Johnson a challenge for the lead and takes it very briefly but Johnson holds on to the lead as he battle lapped traffic. Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr are all giving leader Jimmie Johnson a challenge for the lead of the race as the laps tick down.

Erik Jones brings out the eights caution flag of the race with 80 laps to go after making contact with AJ Allmendinger and hitting the wall. Ty Dillon gets his fourth “lucky dog” of the race.

After taking only two tires, Denny Hamlin leads the race off of pit road. Jimmie Johnson comes out in third.

Kyle Larson was caught speeding on pit road. It was his first speeding penalty of the year.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart with 73 laps remaining in the race. He takes the lead of the race with Jimmie Johnson in second.

Lap 431 Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin battle for the lead with Johnson takeing over on lap 433.

Lap 440 Jimmie Johnson has a lead of just under half a second.

Kasey Kahne made a four tire pit stop with a possible tire issue and hs now two laps down.

Martin Truex Jr challenges Jimmie Johnson for the lead with the two drivers swapping back and forth with Johnson holding Truex off.

After starting at the end of the longest line for a speeding penalty, Kyle Larson has moved up to 13th place.

Forty to go and Jimmie Johnson has a narrow lead on Martin Treux Jr with 15 cars on the lead lap.

Paul Menard spins out and brings out the ninth caution flag of the race after making contact with a slowed down Kasey Kahne.

Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road but is caught speeding on pit road and will have to start at the end of the longest line.

After staying out Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 468 and takes over the lead of the race.

Kyle Larson is in third place.

Thirty laps to go and Kevin Harvick holds on to the lead over Denny Hamlin.

With 28 laps to go Kyle Larson passes Denny Hamlin for second place and is challenging Harvick for the lead as he battles with Jimmie Johnson for second place.

Jimmie Johnson passes Kevin Harvick for the lead on lap 479 after a few laps of battling for the lead.

Lap 484 Jimmie Johnson has a one second lead on the field as Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer , and Kyle Larson battle for position.

Ten to go and Jimmie Johnson has a lead of over a second on second place driver Clint Bowyer.

Five to go and Jimmie Johnson continues to lead the race by over a second on Clint Bowyer.

Jimmie Johnson takes the white flag.

Jimme Johnson wins the Food City 500 – his 82nd career Monster Energy Cup Series career win. It was his second win in a row. This is only Johnson’s second win at Bristol.

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The unofficial results of the Food City 500:
Jimmie Johnson
Clint Bowyer
Kevin Harvick
Matt Kenseth
Joey Logano
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhoouse Jr
Denny Hamiln
Trevor Bayne
Jamie McMurray
Austin Dillon
Ryan Newman
Ty Dillon
Paul Menard
Erik Jones
Daniel Suarez
Matt DiBenedetto
Kasey Kahne
Cole Whitt
Aric Almirola
Daid Ragan
Corey LaJoie
Kurt Busch
Michael McDowell
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Reed Sorenson
Gray Gaulding
AJ Allmendinger
Derrike Cope
Landon Cassill
Ryah Blaney
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch
Danica Patrick
Timmy Hill
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Chris Buescher

photos courtesy of:
By Nascarking – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39778756

By Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41404838

By Royalbroil – cropped from Image:RobbyGordonMartinTruexJr.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2718056

By Kim Phillips – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2718005


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