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Bowyer wins rain-shortened Sharpie Mini 300

Mar 15, 2008 - 11:10 PM By Bruce Martin PA SportsTicker Contributing Editor

BRISTOL, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Kasey Kahne had his chance, but with rain on the way and Clint Bowyer in front of him, he knew he had to make his move. When Kahne's Dodge was behind some lapped cars, he was blocked in and missed his opportunity to pass Bowyer's Chevrolet.

When rain started to fall a lap later, the race was stopped and later called with Bowyer winning Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

"It feels awesome," Bowyer said after the race was stopped for rain for the final time. "I'll take it any way you can get it. Kahne had the best car, but the best car doesn't always win."

After a two-hour rain delay, the race restarted under sunshine. But the gray clouds quickly moved in to quicken the pace of this race as the field had to get to lap 150 to make it a battle against the elements as much as the competition.

Bowyer was in front at the halfway point as the field continued to rip through the laps but was being chased by Kahne.

The yellow flag waved for rain just 13 laps past midway as Kahne was stalking Bowyer's Chevrolet. The track dryers were brought out onto the concrete surface as race officials tried to keep from losing the dry surface.

The red flag was displayed and the cars were parked on pit road after 171 laps.

A few moments later, Kahne climbed from his Dodge and dejectedly walked back to his transporter, believing he failed to capitalize on his chance.

"We all knew going into the race that the weather was coming, and there was sprinkles on the car about 25 laps before it actually got here, so I knew it was close," Kahne said. "That's when I was trying everything I could to get by him without running through him. There was plenty of opportunity to get by him if I wanted to force the issue."

By not forcing the issue, Kahne was left lamenting what might have been after NASCAR officials finally called the race.

David Reutimann was third in a Toyota, followed by Brad Keselowski's Chevrolet and Mike Bliss' Dodge.

By making it just past the halfway mark, it ended a long day of dodging rain drops for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. While the Cup Series has next weekend off, Nationwide teams head to Nashville for a race next Saturday.

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