NSCS: Rain Delay Puts Sprint Cup Action at Bristol On Hold

Jacob Seelman MidSouth, NASCAR 0 Comments

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Report by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — NASCAR photo —

NASCAR hasn’t missed Mother Nature, but she has still come back to play so far on Sunday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway.

After Matt Kenseth led the field to the green flag and started Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer, the rains came for a second time to draw the red flag with 22 of 500 laps in the record books.

Kenseth led the opening five laps but defending series champion Kevin Harvick powered to the point on lap six and began to run away from the snarling pack.

However — besides the rain — the early story was trouble for Team Penske, as teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski crashed on the frontstretch battling for third to draw the first caution flag of the day at lap 19 — with the rain coming back moments afterward.

“I’d like to blame the rain [for the incident], but I just don’t know,” Keselowski said after climbing from his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford. ” I felt like I had a pretty normal line and it just flew crazy sideways on me. It’s a bummer for everybody at Team Penske to tear up both cars that way.”

“I hate racing in the rain, but I understand the position that NASCAR is in. They want to get the race going and this is one of those days where it’s gonna just keep raining off and on and we’re trying to get as many laps in at a time as we can to give the fans the best race possible, but we’re racing in the rain to do it and that’s what happens.”

The eighth race of the 2015 Cup season was scheduled for a 1:03 p.m. ET green-flag start, but was delayed by an hour due to morning rains that dampened the racing surface. Because of that, NASCAR had scheduled a competition caution for lap 50.

As of 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, NASCAR had sent the Air Titan track drying systems back onto the race track to resume track drying work, with several sources looking at the possibility of a 7 p.m. Eastern restart time.

One thing is for certain, though — BMS is committed to trying to get the entire race distance in on Sunday.

“We will make every effort to accomplish the full day of events on the same day as scheduled, and if needed we’ll turn on the lights,” said BMS General Manager Jerry Caldwell on Sunday morning before the original start.

Earlier in the year, the Atlanta Cup race — number two on the 2015 title trail — was delayed nearly an hour by rain before the initial start, but was eventually run to conclusion with six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson picking up his first of two season wins to date.

Stay tuned for additional details.

 

RUNNING ORDER: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer (22 laps complete; Red Flag); Bristol Motor Speedway; April 19, 2015

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Matt Kenseth
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Denny Hamlin
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. Jamie McMurray
  8. David Ragan
  9. Paul Menard
  10. Kyle Larson
  11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  12. Austin Dillon
  13. Martin Truex Jr.
  14. Ryan Newman
  15. AJ Allmendinger
  16. Justin Allgaier
  17. Jeff Gordon
  18. Jimmie Johnson
  19. Landon Cassill
  20. Matt DiBenedetto
  21. Casey Mears
  22. Tony Stewart
  23. Aric Almirola
  24. Brett Moffitt
  25. David Gilliland
  26. Danica Patrick
  27. Jeb Burton
  28. Greg Biffle
  29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  30. Trevor Bayne
  31. Michael Annett
  32. Clint Bowyer
  33. Josh Wise
  34. Alex Bowman
  35. Cole Whitt
  36. Sam Hornish Jr.
  37. Michael McDowell
  38. JJ Yeley
  39. Chris Buescher
  40. Mike Bliss
  41. Alex Kennedy
  42. Joey Logano
  43. Brad Keselowski

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