(NASCAR)—A flat tire that led to a spin by William Byron two laps before the end of NASCAR’s longest race helped make Brad Keselowski a winner at Charlotte late last night. Keselowski was trailing Chase Elliott by almost two seconds when Byron’s spin forced the 600-mile race into overtime. Elliott pitted for fresh tires while Keselowski stayed out but he was back up to third and closing when Keselowski took the checkered flag ending the two-lap overtime run. Jimmie Johnson was second.
Clint Bowyer’s night ended spectacularly less than one-fourth of the way through when a blown right front tire sent him hard into the wall. Although he appeared to have been shaken up in the crash he joked in an interview with FOX Sports that he wanted to get out of his face mask and have a beer.
Despite two straight disappointing finishes, Bowyer remains tied for ninth in the NASCAR points standings after seven races.
The race was even longer than usual because rain stopped the competition on lap 50 (of 400). It took fifty minutes for track dryers to make the surface race-worthy again.
The race, the third since NASCAR resumed competition a week ago, was run without fans in the stands because of the Coronavirus. The Cup cars return to Charlotte Wednesday night to race on the “Roval,” the combination road course and tri-oval track.
The 600-mile race usually is the final event in the world’s greatest racing day that starts with the Monaco Grand Prix early in the morning, our time, and continues with the Indianapolis 500 at mid-day. The Formula 1 race at Monaco has been cancelled and the 500 has been moved to late August because of the pandemic.