Monster Energy Cup Series fans will have to wait another day to see if their favourite driver can visit Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway. After getting just one stage of racing in, the 1000Bulbs.com 500 was marred by rain that led to a red flag. Following nearly two hours of waiting, NASCAR made the call to postpone the two remaining stages to Monday afternoon.
In the lone stage contested on Sunday, William Byron took the green-checkered flag after holding off Joey Logano. Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Kyle and Kurt Busch, and Ryan Blaney all spent time in the lead, while the lone race-related caution came on lap 37. At the end of the stage, Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Daniel Suárez, Ku. Busch, and Blaney also received stage points.
Sprinkles began to trickle as the stage neared its conclusion, forcing cars to pit road. Eventually, as heavier rain arrived, NASCAR called for the red flag, followed by postponement. As Talladega does not have lights, a Sunday night resumption was not possible.
Paul Menard, who ran Stage #1, will not be available for the next two stages as he will be replaced by Matt Crafton in the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford. Menard has been dealing with neck pain throughout the weekend, prompting Crafton – who won the pole in Saturday’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series race and finished eighth – to fill in during Friday practice; he was third fastest. This will be Crafton’s first time in a Cup car since he substituted for an injured Kyle Busch at the 2015 Daytona 500.
The race will resume on Monday at 2 PM Eastern time.