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.
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.