Bristol Motor Speedway saw prolonged rain delays and a few hard crashes stretch the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer deep into Sunday night. Finally, Matt Kenseth fended off Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon to win. Following are 10 things we learned.
Getty ImagesMike Ehrmann
10. It's not over till it's over
Bristol was a reminder that nothing's certain until the checkered flag. Drivers got wrecked and recovered to finish well, while Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick combined to lead 282 laps but finished 15th and 38th, respectively.
9. Danica makes history
Danica Patrick finished in the top 10 for the second time in three races and in the process broke a tie with Janet Guthrie for the most career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finishes by a woman. Patrick also moved up to 13th in points.
Getty ImagesBrian Lawdermilk
8. Another super-sub
A pinched nerve in his neck led Denny Hamlin to get out of his car early in the race. Erik Jones, who had never driven a Cup car before and didn’t feel comfortable in Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Toyota, got in and finished 26th. Impressive under the circumstances.
Getty ImagesJared C. Tilton
7. J.J. hits everything but the lottery
Jimmie Johnson, normally one of the sport’s most precise and even-tempered drivers, played bumper cars with a couple of his fellow drivers, most notably rookie Jeb Burton. Yet he somehow managed to finish second behind Matt Kenseth.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesSarah Glenn
6. The teammate thing
Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have both won races already this year for Team Penske. But Keselowski got loose on the frontstretch on Lap 19 and in the process wrecked both himself and Logano. Duoh!
5. About time
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart finally cracked the top 10 for the first time in 2015. Smoke’s hard-fought sixth-place finish was his best in the season so far.
Getty ImagesJared C. Tilton
4. Big Daddy rallying back
Jeff Gordon had a dreadful start to the season, but Sunday at Bristol he finished third, his top run of the season, and his fifth consecutive top-10 finish. He’s now in the top 10 in points.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesDrew Hallowell
3. Streaks broken
Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick all came into Bristol having scored top 10s in each of the first seven races of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. None of the three finished in the top 10 on Sunday.
Getty ImagesSean Gardner
2. Kenseth gets it done
Matt Kenseth won seven races in 2013, but since late that year he had been winless heading into Bristol, a span of 51 races. But he drove like a boss as he joined his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin as a race winner this year.
Getty ImagesJeff Zelevansky
1. A lot of love for Steve Byrnes
The NASCAR community, as it so often does in times of strife, rallied around a cause. This time, it was 'NASCAR Race Hub' co-host Steve Byrnes, who is battling head and neck cancer. Thinking about you, Byrnesy, as you remind us to remain #ByrnesStrong every day.