NASCAR officials have postponed the completion of the Cup Series playoff race from Texas Motor Speedway for a third consecutive day because of continuing rain Tuesday.
The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 began Sunday, with drivers completing 52 of 334 laps before a light mist and drizzle escalated, forcing the event to be red-flagged. Nagging rain washed out Monday’s and Tuesday’s attempts to continue the race, pushing it to a Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET restart time (NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Track-drying progress had been made under chilly, damp conditions Tuesday at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth track, but morning rain scratched the proposed noon ET restart time. Mist and light rain intensified near 2 p.m. ET, stalling efforts to dry the speedway. Hope was renewed in the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET hours, but the return of light rain eventually halted a tentative 8:30 p.m. ET restart and forced race officials to postpone the race’s conclusion again.
Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford is first on the scoring pylon. He is followed by another driver in his final full Cup Series season, Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
The 501-miler is the second of three events in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8, which will determine the final four drivers who will race for the title Nov. 8 at Phoenix Raceway. The Championship 4 field will be set after the Round of 8 finale, scheduled Sunday (2 p.m. ET) at Martinsville Speedway. Only Joey Logano has clinched a Championship 4 berth, thanks to his victory in the round opener Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway.
A tighter turnaround is anticipated for teams, broadcast crews and NASCAR personnel to set up for Sunday’s event in Martinsville, Virginia. Officials said that if the conclusion of the Texas event is completed Wednesday that “NASCAR plans to leave the advertised Martinsville schedule in place. Any additional postponements will require an adjustment to the Martinsville schedule, and we will notify you of those changes as they happen.”
Stage 1 of the Texas event is scheduled to end on Lap 105 with Stage 2 to end on Lap 210. The race would be ruled an official event at the halfway point (Lap 167).