NASCAR Cup Series Chicago: Alex Bowman takes the win in weather-filled race

Rain may have slowed down the NASCAR Cup in Chicago, but the race crowned a new winner.

Alex Bowman won the NASCAR Cup Series race, the Grand Park 165, in downtown Chicago on Sunday evening.

This capped a difficult day on the race track, where the race was shortened from 75 laps total to a 8:20 cut off time.

"We're going to drink so much damn bourbon tonight," Bowman said after the race.

The win qualifies Bowman for the 2024 playoffs.

With three minutes left in the race time countdown, Bowman had just under a half second lead. He pushed that to a full second with about two minutes remaining on the timer. 

Tyler Reddick finished second, and Ty Gibbs finished third, while Joey Hand finished fourth.

Wreck knocks defending winner van Gisbergen out

Shane van Gisbergen was knocked out of the rainy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, ending his chance for another win on the street course in downtown Chicago.

Van Gisbergen was clipped by Chase Briscoe going into Turn 6 on Lap 25. Briscoe slid into a tire barrier, but van Gisbergen crashed into the temporary wall — causing heavy damage to the right side of his Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

"I just sort of turned in. It looked pretty good and then just got smacked by someone," van Gisbergen said. "It’s gutting."

Shortly after the wreck, the race was stopped to give NASCAR time to clear standing water from the makeshift track. The drivers returned to their cars about an hour later, but the delay continued when another cell passed over the course.

Weather makes it a timed race

Ty Gibbs was in front when the race resumed, followed by Christopher Bell and pole-sitter Kyle Larson. With a 9:20 p.m. EDT cutoff time, finishing the 75 laps and 165 miles seemed unlikely.

Van Gisbergen raced to a career-altering victory last year in Chicago when he became the first driver to win his Cup Series debut since Johnny Rutherford in the second qualifying race at Daytona in 1963. The 35-year-old New Zealand native also won Saturday's Xfinity Series race on the tricky 12-turn, 2.2-mile course.

Van Gisbergen won the first stage Sunday shortly before he was knocked out.

"We were able to lead and I felt like I was driving well with it," he said, "so yeah, it’s a shame to be out so early. It’s a shame we couldn’t have a proper crack at it at the end."

The wet Cup Series race finished NASCAR’s second year on the street course in Chicago. It is expected to return next season, but the future of the weekend — a combination of racing and music that is designed more for NASCAR newcomers than its traditional fans — is unclear beyond 2025.

Unlike last year, when persistent showers wreaked havoc on the schedule — leading to shortened versions of the Xfinity and Cup Series races — there was no issue with the weather until the Cup drivers got into their cars and got the command to start their engines. Then the rain started to fall, and the teams had to make a quick decision on whether to switch to wet tires.

After slowing to a drizzle, the showers increased in intensity about 17 laps in — eventually leading to the stoppage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


NASCAR Chicago: Shane van Gisbergen is out of the Grant Park 165 after collision damages his car

Last year's NASCAR Chicago winner, and this year's favorite, will not get to defend his title.