The NASCAR Cup Series‘ YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway has been postponed to Monday. Sunday’s events only included pre-race ceremonies and a handful of laps behind the pace car before rain forced the delay.
The Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series held their races on Saturday without any weather concerns, though the former—who raced after the latter—had its event shortened due to darkness as Talladega does not have lights. Mother Nature was not as friendly for the Cup Series as rain fell on the track throughout Sunday morning.
Although NASCAR attempted to get pre-race festivities and some laps in, they could only turn two pace laps before calling it a day. The race will now start on Monday at 1 PM Eastern (6 PM/1800 BST). However, many have raised concerns about the weather later in the week as rain is expected to continue falling until Thursday, including the threat of thunderstorms.
While NASCAR has raced as late as Wednesday in the past (most infamously with the 2020 fall Texas race that was planned for Sunday before ending on Wednesday), the sanctioning body cannot push a race too far without potentially interfering with the next date. Next Sunday’s race is at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, where many teams are already headquartered which could provide some breathing room, though NASCAR would obviously prefer to avoid such a contingency plan.
Unlike the slew of delays in 2020, this is only the fourth postponement in the Cup Series in 2021. After the season-opening Daytona 500, other instances came at Bristol Dirt in March and Martinsville in April. Curiously, every postponed race this season have come at either a superspeedway or a short track (though Bristol could be classified as a dirt track in this case).
Denny Hamlin will start Talladega on the pole.