NASCAR resumes Texas playoff race 3 days after it started

Clint Bowyer won the first stage of the NASCAR playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway that finally resumed three days after it started

FORT WORTH, Texas — Clint Bowyer won the first stage of the NASCAR playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway that finally resumed Wednesday, three days after it started.

Bowyer was ahead of Martin Truex Jr., who before the race started Sunday was docked 20 points because of an illegal spoiler, a penalty that put his push to be in NASCAR’s final four in a more precarious position. A win would take care of that.

Truex had restarted fifth, having already recovered from being forced to start at the back of the field because of the illegal spoiler.

Just like when the race was red-flagged Sunday after 52 laps, Bowyer was still ahead after first stage of 105 laps in the scheduled 334-lap race that restarted 72 hours, 28 minutes, 34 seconds after it was first postponed because or misty conditions and drizzle,.

It was overcast with temperatures still in the mid-40s when the race resumed, but there was no more precipitation in the forecast. There were about 300 people in the stands. TMS and NASCAR planning to give each of them hot garage and pit passes to the NASCAR All-Star Race at the track next June.

Air Titan and jet dryer trucks, including some extras brought in from other tracks, did laps around the 1 1/2-mile track for nearly five hours before Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson, both retiring from full-time Cup driving after this season, restarted 1-2. The 40-car field resumed with four caution laps before going green on Lap 57.

Matt Kenseth and Bubba Wallace were out of the race after contact sent both of their cars into the infield grass only four laps after going green Wednesday.

Kenseth’s car wiggled coming out of Turn 4 and got bumped from behind by playoff contender Denny Hamlin. That sent Kenseth into Wallace’s No. 43.

By that point Kevin Harvick had already already gotten back on the lead lap. Harvick won the last three fall races in Texas and is a nine-time winner this season, but was running 36th and a lap down during the extended postponement. He had damage to the right side of his car after he brushed the wall while leading on Lap 29.

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