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From The Marbles

If you weren't named Carl Edwards, leading laps was a treacherous proposition at Bristol

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles
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Kevin Harvick (No. 4), Jamie McMurray (No. 1) and Brad Keselowski (No. 2) all led Sunday at Bristol. (Getty Images)

If you led during Sunday's race at Bristol won by Carl Edwards, there was a good chance you were going to have a significant issue.

12 drivers got a bonus point for officially leading a lap in the twice-rain-delayed race and eight of them had problems that significantly derailed their chances of winning. Those problems, coupled with intense side-by-side racing, made the battle around the half-mile track very enthralling despite the two delays, including one of almost three hours and 20 minutes.

Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski all spent time at the front of the field and all were either caught up in a crash or had an equipment failiure.

Harvick's issue was the most spectacular. His car started trailing white smoke and just a couple laps after the problem appeared and the smoke intensified, he hit the wall on lap 452. Harvick, who had led 28 laps, was able to steer his car to the garage, but as he came to a stop, a fire erupted underneath the hood of his car. The suspected cause? A possible problem with the oil line from tire rubber. Harvick finished 39th.

McMurray and Keselowski were caught up in the aftermath of Harvick's crash, as they were apparently unable to slow down from the oil that was dropped onto the track and Keselowski crashed into McMurray. While Keselowski's crew ripped the hood off his car and kept him on the track, McMurray was forced to go to the garage for repairs. He finished 38th while Keselowski salvaged a 14th place finish.

Kyle Busch spun into the wall on lap 395, much to the excitement of a fan who happened to be near the accident scene. Busch, who had led 73 laps and won Saturday's Nationwide race, ended up 29th. At the same time as Kyle Busch's problem, Kurt Busch, who led 28 laps, had a problem with the left front tire on his car. He finished 35th.

Kenseth was in second place on lap 157 when Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt crashed ahead of him. He and leader Kurt Busch slowed down for the crash but as they slammed on the brakes, Timmy Hill didn't slow down nearly as fast behind them. Hill slammed into the back of Kenseth's car, significantly damaging the rear of his car.

Kenseth's crew was able to get the car fixed up and he drove his way back through the field and even led at one point. But his car then had a couple of laps where Kenseth felt like a tire was going down and he got loose and in a subsequent corner, into the wall. He finished 13th.

Logano and Johnson had their issues in the race's first 124 laps before the three-hour-plus rain delay. Logano, who led for 12 laps early after starting fourth, saw the power steering fail on his car. He wrestled his No. 22 until the rain delay, and when the race restarted, his team immediately fixed the issue and he rejoined the race three laps down. Johnson was three laps down after his right-front tire unraveled right before the rain hit on lap 119. Johnson had led 44 laps prior to the incident, thanks to a left-side-tires only pit call earlier in the race. Johnson finished 19th while Logano finished 20th.

 

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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