Rain-Delayed NASCAR Race Restarts At Texas Motor Speedway On Monday At Noon
April 19th, 2010- By Bryan Cross
Two themes have continued through the 2010 NASCAR season to date, green-white-checkered finishes, and rain delayed starts.
NASCAR officials have gotten what they wanted in exciting two-lap sprints to the finish this year, implementing a new rule promoting fan-excitement. However, it is difficult to promote that excitement when races are delayed by weather. Although it is completely out of NASCAR’s control, it has no doubt had an affect, and highlights a cornerstone reason as to why the series struggles with television ratings.
Again this week, at Texas Motor Speedway in this chapter, races was delayed twice on Saturday and Sunday, pushing the start of both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series to Monday.
“It is disappointing not to race, but this happens now and then,” remarked driver Ryan Newman. “I think we are going to be good [Monday]. We just have to live with it. It is part of racing.”
On Saturday, the Nationwide race was pushed back to Sunday, but due to the persistent precipitation, the race will now take place Monday afternoon beginning at 5pm Est.
Over the weekend, approximately 2 1/2 inches if rain splashed down on the track. Monday’s weather forecast looks promising however, and NASCAR officials fully expect to get both races in.
Fifteen drivers will are scheduled to compete in both the NASCAR and Nationwide event, meaning that each would drive a total of 801 miles on the day. The Sprint Cup Series race will go for 501 miles, while the Nationwide is 300 miles. This has not occurred since 2003.
Monday also marks for the first time since 2008 that a NASCAR and Nationwide race commenced on the same day. Still, some of the races were run previously, with the re-start beginning with only 624 miles remaining.
While the delays left NASCAR fans there over the weekend disappointed, the Speedway felt it the best thing to do for the drivers and fans alike.
“It was the fan-friendly thing to do in terms of allowing our fans with either ticket to stay for both races,” remarked Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage. “The weather has inconvenienced all of them, and for those who are able to stay they may as well enjoy 801 miles of NASCAR racing.”
Jimmie Johnson headlines the list of betting favorites to take the checkered flag at the race on Monday afternoon, going off at 5/1 on Online Sportsbooks.
Following Johnson are the usual suspects in Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon.
Coverage of the Sprint Cup Race can be seen at 12pm Est on FOX, while the Nationwide race can be seen at 5pm Est on ESPN2.