Tell us if you have heard this phrase before: Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race has been postponed to Monday because of rain.
Yet again, another Cup race has fallen victim to Mother Nature; in this case, it was the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. A lightning strike forced the race to be delayed for at least 30 minutes, but eventual rain forced the event to be moved entirely to Monday afternoon.
It was the fourth Cup race of 2020 to suffer a delay for weather-related reasons, a trend that began with the season-opening Daytona 500. Since the season’s resumption in May, three races have been dealt the same fate, with the Xfinity Series also not being exempt. Last Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway was run on time, but was plagued by lightning.
During the delay, drivers and teams spent their time conducting interviews or lounging about. Rick Ware Racing drivers J.J. Yeley and Bayley Currey, the former of whom starts thirty-fourth, held Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions on Reddit. Perhaps an answer of note came from Yeley, a former IndyCar Series driver, who remarked he would “absolutely” perform the Indianapolis 500/Coca-Cola 600 “Double Duty” if given the opportunity; Yeley finished ninth in his lone Indy 500 start in 2001.
On the track, Air Titans were deployed, with one truck drawing attention when it slid atop the track’s banking before the driver saved it. It was technically the second major save of the weekend after Michael Self escaped triggering a wreck late in Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series event.
The postponement sparked discussion from fans, such as questioning the decision to start the race at 3 PM Eastern rather than sooner to appease West Coast fans. Others asked why Talladega did not possess lights, with Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass explaining they would be a “big investment for Talladega. Would also have to do parking lots. And maybe even road that leads to track. Plus Talladega is about the party at night. That is big $$ for just an insurance policy for rain. They put capital improvement $ into garage viewing access.”
Martin Truex Jr. will start Monday on the pole alongside Denny Hamlin; the two Joe Gibbs Racing team-mates won the Cup Series’ most recent races. William Byron, Joey Gase, and Garrett Smithley all failed inspection (Gase three times) and will start at the back. Gase will also have to serve a pass-through penalty, not unlike at Martinsville Speedway when he failed inspection an absurd five times.