After a week’s worth of controversy and a day’s worth of racing, Matt Kenseth held serve.
Kenseth, who entered the Chase for the Sprint Cup as the 10-race championship battle’s No. 1 seed, cemented his position with a victory in the twice rain-delayed GEICO 400 Sunday night at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
Kenseth passed Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch on a restart with 22 of 267 laps remaining and cruised to his sixth win of the season.
Kyle Busch finished second, Kevin Harvick was third, Kurt Busch fourth and Jimmie Johnson ended up fifth.
Finishing sixth through 10th: Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman.
It appeared for most of Sunday dark clouds would continue to hover over NASCAR.
Hoping to get back to what it does best – racing – after spending the past week addressing a team orders scandal, NASCAR instead got off to a false start.
The start of Sunday’s race – the first of 10 to decide the champion of the Sprint Cup series – was delayed about 90 minutes by rain and then halted again by rain after completing just 109 laps. The race finally resumed at approximately 7 p.m. Pacific time, after a delay of more than five hours.
Pole-winner Joey Logano led the first 22 laps of the race until NASCAR called a competition caution to allow teams to check their tires for wear.
Robert Hight took his second straight Funny Car victory to kick off the Countdown to the Championship playoffs at the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, N.C.
Hight powered his Ford Mustang to a run of 4.083 seconds at 312.64 mph to race to the victory against points leader Matt Hagan in the final round. Hagan had a quicker run of 4.066, but Hight posted a quicker .055 reaction time to hang on for his second win in 2013 and 29th of his career.
Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also prevailed at the first of six races in the NHRA’s playoffs.