GEICO 500 at Talladega delayed by lightning, rain

Lightning strikes near Talladega Superspeedway and rain delayed the start of Sunday’s GEICO 500 for the NASCAR Cup Series. Green flag was originally slated for 3:24 p.m. ET, but a lightning warning that went out at 2:39 p.m. ET put things in a holding pattern for at least 30 minutes. Then, rain started to fall at the track shortly before 3 p.m. ET.

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NASCAR had a track-drying team of 18 Air Titans, eight jet dryers, two track vacuums and an Elgin sweeper on hand to dry the 2.66-mile superspeedway. At 4:05 p.m. ET, track-drying efforts began. At 4:27 p.m. ET, NASCAR gave the all-clear from the lighting alert. However, another lightning alert went out at 4:59 p.m. ET and rain began falling again at 5. The track was eventually lost and the race postponed to Monday at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.

Martin Truex Jr. will lead the field to green in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Teammate Denny Hamlin, who won last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, will also start on the front row. The race was scheduled for 188 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 60 and Stage 2 finishing on Lap 120. A competition caution was planned for Lap 25.