Will NASCAR be able to get the race in today?
The Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway, originally scheduled to take the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, has been delayed by rain. If the race can not get underway and get to at least the halfway point on Sunday, a start time of noon ET has been set for Monday.
"By now nearly everyone has seen Sunday's weather forecast and expressed questions regarding plans," Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager Jerry Caldwell said on Saturday. "NASCAR has a nearly 70-year history of working with tracks to get races in on the scheduled date. In Bristol Motor Speedway , we have a track that dries in less than an hour, equipment here to do it and lights that allow us to go well into the evening. We are very hopeful and fully intend to run the Food City 500 tomorrow. If by chance that does not happen, we are prepared to race Monday at noon. But that is a backup plan we hope to not need."
NASCAR and Bristol track officials are hoping to get the race underway during a window that is predicted for late Sunday afternoon. If the race isn't started, or if it does but half the 500-lap distance isn't completed on Sunday, the race will be carried over to Monday.
"At this time, the NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-race and Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway are on hold due to weather," Caldwell said just prior to the originally-scheduled Sunday start time. "There appears to be a mid to late afternoon window, and we are hopeful to begin trying the track and that time for the running of the event."
"I don't think it looks very good," Busch said. "I think it may be a wash today."
Jeff Gordona, driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and also a five-time Bristol winner said that, yesterday, he assumed the race would be delayed until Monday when he saw the weather forecast, but changed his mind on Sunday after seeing the weather radar.
Unlike Busch, Gordon thinks at least some of the laps may be made sometime on Sunday.
Rain is also expected for Monday, but the chances decrease throughout the day.