Bristol needed a good race and it got rain
Having Sunday's race postponed to Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway certainly isn't the end of the world, but it's not what the track needed to revive its troubled spring race.
NASCAR Cup race postponed to Monday at 1 ET
The NASCAR Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway has been postponed from Sunday afternoon to Monday due to rain.
Rain has postponed the NASCAR Cup race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway to 1 p.m. ET Monday. With a forecast of rain throughout the day, NASCAR decided to make the decision more than two hours before the scheduled start of the race, telling the drivers at their prerace meeting that they won't try to wait it out. NASCAR would need at least a three-hour window – and possibly more thanks to cool temperatures and the heavy rains – to dry the track and get at least 250 laps of the 500 scheduled completed for an official race. The forecast is for a 30 to 50 percent chance of rain throughout Monday afternoon.
The crew of Kyle Larson pushes the car toward the inspection area Sunday at rainy Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR will tech all the Cup cars today even if it has to postpone the race, scheduled for this afternoon but in jeopardy of being postponed with a forecast of rain throughout the day. NASCAR would start the race at 1 p.m. ET Monday if it gets postponed.
Hard at work: NASCAR Cup teams are getting cars prepared for the scheduled race today at Bristol Motor Speedway. The AccuWeather forecast predicts rain throughout the day. NASCAR likely would need at least three hours of dry weather to get the track dry and complete the second stage (Lap 250 of scheduled 500) for an official race. Green flag is scheduled for 2:13 p.m. Eastern.
Clements punched in face by Chastain at Bristol
Jeremy Clements and Ross Chastain were involved in a confrontation during a red-flag period Saturday at Bristol that left Clements with a swollen eye.
After finishing second in the Xfinity Series race, Ryan Blaney shares his thoughts about the track conditions and the traction compound Bristol Motor Speedway has put in the lower groove. NASCAR has not decided whether to add more of the resin-type substance to the track prior to the Cup race scheduled for Sunday.
Kyle Busch led the final NASCAR Cup series practice Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne and Daniel Suarez were tied for second on the speed chart, followed by Chase Elliott. All four of those drivers are looking for their first Cup win of the season.
Juan Pablo Montoya says there is no reason Fernando Alonso shouldn't run well in the Indy 500, which will be the Formula 1 driver's first IndyCar race and first on an oval. The two-time Indy 500 winner Montoya competed in Formula 1 from 2001-06.
Change in plans: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. looks at the damage on his primary car, which his team will fix so he can keep his starting position (19th) for the NASCAR Cup race scheduled for Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stenhouse hit the wall during practice Saturday morning and it is possible that rain later this morning would wipe out the final practice where he could have worked on the handling of his backup car.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will go to a backup car and start at the rear of the field for the NASCAR Cup race scheduled for Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. He slapped the wall and damaged the right rear of his primary car in practice Saturday.
Kyle Larson isn't too big of a fan of the width of the adhesive substance (referred to as VHT) that Bristol Motor Speedway officials have put down in the lower groove. He feels they almost gave the drivers too much grip. Larson, on the pole for the race Sunday as the field was set by the standings because of rain Friday, explains what he felt during practice:
On the job: Brad Keselowski crew chief Paul Wolfe stands atop the hauler overseeing NASCAR Cup practice for the Team Penske No. 2 car Friday at Bristol. Wolfe could miss the next two races -- Richmond and Talladega -- if the team loses its final appeal Tuesday for penalties issued from the March 19 race at Phoenix and Wolfe's three-race suspension (he already has missed one race) is upheld.
Monster Energy motocross rider Alex Harvill will attempt a world-record motorcycle jump in the middle of the Talladega Superspeedway infield prior to the NASCAR Cup race May 7. He is expected to reach a top speed of 105 mph in attempting the more than 426-foot jump. The takeoff ramp will be 88 feet long and 14 feet high as he hopes to launch over a 400-foot gap before landing on the 30-foot-high, 30-foot-wide, 100-foot-long ramp.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson reiterated Friday that he has no plans to run the Indianapolis 500, that he has decided with his wife, Chani, that he won't ever attempt it once they started a family. Johnson, who has two daughters, said: "My window has closed. I was looking into it seriously years ago. Then Chani just kind of worked out a deal that pre-kids, sure. I couldn't get it done. Until IndyCar decides to put some kind of roof on their cars or protect the drivers head -- from our family discussions, it's out of the question."
NASCAR Cup qualifying has been canceled for later today because of morning rain at Bristol Motor Speedway. Series points leader Kyle Larson will be on the pole Sunday with Chase Elliott joining him on the front row. The Cup teams will have a 55-minute practice starting at 3 p.m. today.
Kenseth's on solid footing -- for now
Amid all the sponsor business and the retirement rumors, the Joe Gibbs Racing veteran says he's looking forward to racing at Bristol and getting "our season turned around."
NASCAR Cup practice scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today will be delayed by rain at Bristol Motor Speedway. Qualifying is scheduled for late this afternoon. If qualifying doesn't get in, the teams will line up by owner points for the start of the race Sunday.
Danica Patrick, during a Mobil 1 appearance Friday, reflected on her April Fools' Day joke where she posted an Instagram photo leaving people wondering if she and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got engaged. Patrick: "I did a good job, didn't I? I felt like I did a really good job. I had my sister even wondering. She was like, ‘Seriously, this is not how I'm supposed to find out.' … It was a good experience in knowing there is a whole different protocol for letting friends and family know. And it's not social media."
Advice for Fernando Alonso? The first IndyCar race for NASCAR Cup driver Kurt Busch was his sixth-place finish in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. He drove for Andretti, just as Alonso will this year. Busch indicated he former F1 champion doesn't need much advice but he needs to know how race day will be so different than any other day at the track:
The garage at Bristol Motor Speedway is open as teams take the cars off the haulers. The sky is a mix of blue and clouds and drizzle -- something teams will watch all weekend with a more than 60 percent chance of rain each day.
The NFL schedule is fairly kind to the NASCAR Cup playoff schedule with the only in-city conflict coming Nov. 5 when the Cowboys are home the same day as the race at Texas. The playoff races at Chicagoland and Charlotte have the local NFL teams on the road while the races at Kansas, Phoenix and Homestead have the local NFL teams not playing that day. Three other playoff races will have NFL teams playing at home in markets those tracks draw from: New Hampshire (Patriots are home), Dover (Ravens) and Talladega (Falcons).
Turn 4: Alonso running Indy 500 a good idea?
How are you feeling about the McLaren driver suiting up for the Memorial Day weekend race? Will a Joe Gibbs Racing driver get the team's first win of the season at Bristol? Our gang has at it.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is moving its fall NASCAR Cup race from Saturday night to Sunday, Oct. 8. The track hopes for a better race in the daytime with a slicker track surface.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth will have six races of primary sponsorship this year from Circle K.
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