Kyle Larson has gone through the opening segment of Monday’s weather-rescheduled Food City 500 like a dog with a bone: he refused to give up the lead throughout the entire 125 laps of Stage 1.
Larson started from the pole after Friday’s qualifying was rained out. Larson was awarded the pole because he’s the current leader in the NASCAR Cup standings.
The only significant incident of the opening stage occurred on Lap 54. Kurt Busch spun on the backstretch and hit the inside wall nose-first. As cars slowed to avoid Busch as he came up the track, Chris Buescher ran into the back of Reed Sorenson.
Busch was able to get the damage repaired on his car, but Buescher suffered significant damage to his front end to bring an early close to his race.
The race was red-flagged for five minutes, 10 seconds as safety crews had to clean up a significant amount of oil and fluids from Buescher’s car.
While there was concern early that weather may impact the race, the latest weather radar shows most rain has dissipated and the race should be able to continue to its full scheduled 500 laps.