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More rain, flooding forces postponement of Bristol dirt to Monday

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Credit: Hailie Deegan

If Saturday’s on-track activity at Bristol Motor Speedway was more akin to mud bogging, Sunday provided a prime opportunity to turn the short track into a lake for boat racing. After rain forced the NASCAR Cup and Camping World Truck Series to cancel their heat races on Saturday, with the latter’s points race later in the night being pushed to Sunday, additional poor weather and flooding in the area have led to yet another postponement to Monday.

Rain in the Bristol, Tennessee, area reached dangerous levels as the weekend arrived. When the weather briefly let up on Saturday, NASCAR quickly started the first Truck heat race but could only turn one lap before mud quickly obscured the drivers’ windshields and noses, forcing the event to be aborted. The Truck Series’ Pinty’s Dirt Truck Race was eventually moved to Sunday night after the Cup Series’ Food City Dirt Race and the starting grids for both were instead set by formula.

Matters did not improve overnight as flash flooding took place near the speedway campgrounds.

“At 4:16 AM EDT, gauge reports indicated that Beaver Creek near the Bristol Motor Speedway is in flood,” began an early Sunday morning bulletin from the National Weather Service. “LIFE THREATENING flooding is possible near the Speedway campgrounds. Rainfall between 1 and 3 inches of rain have fallen. Additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible in the warned area. Flash flooding is already occurring.”

With drivers and personnel being greeted in the morning by a very wet speedway that included parts like much of the media complex’s parking lot being underwater, NASCAR announced hours before the Cup race that it would be pushed to Monday. It is the fifth Bristol spring race in the last decade to suffer a rain delay after 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. The 2017 and 2018 races were also postponed, with the latter experiencing a second weather stoppage on Monday.

Bristol is the second round of the 2021 season to be rained out, joining the opening Daytona 500 weekend.

The Pinty’s Dirt Truck Race will now take place on Sunday at noon Eastern, followed by the Food City Dirt Race at 4 PM. John Hunter Nemechek starts on the pole for the Truck race while Kyle Larson does so for the Cup event, though the latter will drop to the rear after an engine change.

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History major at San Jose State University and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
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