Shane van Gisbergen gets first NASCAR victory in Grant Park 220

After the heavy rain finally let up in the late afternoon Sunday, NASCAR’s big event was won by van Gisbergen after a wild, chaotic race in downtown Chicago.

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Shane Van Gisbergen, holding a checkered flag, is surrounded by media.

Shane Van Gisbergen celebrates his victory in the Grant Park 220.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Shane van Gisbergen won his first victory in his NASCAR Cup Series debut at the rain-delayed, darkness-shortened, slip-slidin’ Grant Park 220 on the Chicago Street Race Course.

Delayed 90 minutes by rain, the weather gradually cleared but still gave drivers fits with water on the roads. There were nine cautions, the last one coming on the last lap, which added additional laps in overtime.

Van Gisbergen defeated Justin Haley, who came in second followed by Chase Elliott.

The race was chaotic at times with several cars crashing into tire barriers, especially at Turn No. 6 at the corner of Columbus Ave and Balbo Ave. It was a rough start with the first caution coming at lap No. 2.

Originally scheduled for 100 laps, the drivers only ran 75 after NASCAR opted to cut things short due to impending darkness. Sunset was at 8:29 p.m.

The race began at 5:37 p.m., delayed from the original 4 p.m. Sunday start time after hours of delays due to local flash flood warnings, which forced officials to call the weekend’s Xfinity Series race before its completion.

NASCAR’s decision to push back the Cup Series race from its planned 4:05 p.m. start time came minutes after the National Weather Service sent another emergency alert regarding the “life-threatening” flash flood warning.

There were audible groans in the media room as phones buzzed with the alert just before 4 p.m. local time, the Sun-Times’ Ellery Jones said.

Cole Custer won the earlier race, The Loop 121, by leading with 25 of 55 completed when a red flag was dropped Saturday due to lightning. NASCAR announced Sunday that those results were considered final.

The related outdoor concerts set for Sunday, including Charley Crockett and Miranda Lambert, were also cancelled.

Earlier Sunday, NASCAR said it was in a “holding pattern” due to standing water on the course. The race was paused Saturday because of lightning.

The National Weather Service extended a flash flood warning for Cook County, which includes Chicago, and surrounding areas until 6:30 p.m. CT

In an emergency push alert, NWS warned:

“This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.”

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