Polesitter Kasey Kahne recovered from a crash in final practice and an unscheduled pitstop to clear debris from the front of his overheating radiator to win a rain shortened 3M Performance 400 at the Michigan International Speedway.
The driver of the #9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge battled with Jeff Gordon for the lead in the early stages of a race delayed by 45 minutes by rain and then stopped three subsequent times for small sprinkles before the real downpour began with just over 70 of the 200 scheduled laps remaining.
However in the interim period Kahne dropped all the way back to 40th and had to wait for a Lucky Dog pass (lap 53) before he could begin his fight back.
Aided by an unusually high number of caution periods on the sweeping two-mile Michigan oval and the resulting pit strategy conundrum as everyone tried to second guess the weather, Kahne took what would prove to be the final restart of the day on lap 114 in second place behind rookie Reed Sorensen.
With a car that was super-fast down the straights and excellent in the highest of Michigan's many racing grooves Kahne was soon ahead of Sorensen and was holding a comfortable advantage when the rain returned on lap 123, bringing out the ninth caution flag of the afternoon.
With the precipitation intensifying NASCAR threw the red flag and it wasn't long before Kahne was confirmed as the winner as the heavens opened and left the entire facility drenched.
Kahne's fourth win of the season and the fifth of his career helped move him into third place in the championship standings behind Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, who suffered drastically different fortunes on Sunday.
Johnson ran strongly at the front for much of the day but was undone during the final round of pitstops and couldn't fight his way into clean air. He would finish in sixth position, seven spots ahead of Kenseth who not only suffered an early pit road collision with Bill Lester but also endured a single car spin that sent him to the rear of the pack.
Kenseth's Roush teammate Carl Edwards came through from 31st on the grid to take second place with Dale Earnhardt Jr a strong third and Greg Biffle fourth. Biffle's fourth place finish helped him move into the top ten in points for the first time since the season really got started at the expense of Kyle Busch, who could only finish 14th.