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NASCAR Got Wet In Chicago

Kyle Busch spins into the safety tires
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The NASCAR Cup Series ran its first-ever street race on Sunday in downtown Chicago, as drivers turned both left and right through what was called the Grant Park 220. Our pal Nate Fisher predicted many months ago that "there will almost certainly be carnage" in this race due to the unforgiving nature of street courses, and he was more right than he probably even imagined. The course itself was a tricky little bugger, but Chicago, like much of the country, has also dealt with a ton of rain over the last few days, and wet conditions both shortened the race by about 20 percent and led to drivers slipping and sliding all over the place.

This was a unique race not just for its location and layout, but also for its silliness. Just look at this polite, multi-car hiccup that looks less like a NASCAR crash and more like a bunch of drunk guys trying to exit the United Center lot.

Shane van Gisbergen, coming over from Oceania to make his first-ever NASCAR start, earned a debut victory unprecedented in the modern era. But more than his celebration, the imagery that defined Sunday's racing was that of cars at medium speeds skidding into the tire barriers that stood between the course and the walls. Again and again, drivers would helplessly pummel the piles of rubber, only to find themselves unable to reverse out, forcing a caution while a tow truck came to their assistance. It happened to poor Noah Gragson twice!

You never forget your first, though, and Kyle Busch produced the most spectacular mistake of the day early on when he managed to dislodge buckets of water from the tires as he lost control.

There's a permanent fountain in Grant Park that the broadcast kept showing, but this one's even cooler. Here it is in super slow-mo, with music:

Music: Sufjan Stevens, "Casimir Pulaski Day." Original Gimmick: Tim Burke

Now that's racin'.

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