NASCAR at Texas live updates: Track slowly drying from rain, drivers are bored
After two days of postponements at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR will attempt to start its playoff race on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. (NBCSN).
In order to drive the Autotrader Echopark Automotive 500, the track has to stay dry - and the Fort Worth forecast shows more wet weather. According to AccuWeather, there is a 34% chance of rain at race time and a 51% chance of rain at 3:00 p.m. clouds hang over the track all day.
The race in the 1.5-mile oval is 334 laps long and has breaks on laps 105, 210 and 334. The field will restart on lap 53 after completing the first 52 laps on the Sunday before the red flag came out.
(Click here for a live NASCAR leaderboard.)
Joey Logano is the only driver to have earned a place in the Championship 4 race thanks to his victory in Kansas on October 18. Another playoff driver could secure his place in Texas.
Follow us here for information for the Autotrader Echopark Automotive 500 on Texas Motor Speedway. Update this page for the latest updates and follow NASCAR reporter Alex Andrejev on Twitter at @AndrejevAlex. All times shown are east.
6:05 p.m .: points of light on the route
The sky is still cloudy as the track continues to dry, but more spots of light appear and NASCAR is using more of its Air Titan armada to help with the effort.
5:30 p.m.: Drivers report maximum boredom
The driver and crew are waiting for the wet weather and are getting more and more desperate. During a media call that afternoon, Joey Logano says that he is more comfortable than other drivers because of his already won offer for Championship 4 and that his team is using the time to plan ahead for Phoenix. There is only so much preparation to make, however, and Logano adds that he made a request to Eddie Gossage, president of the Texas Motor Speedway Circuit, to help dry it out.
"I'll do anything. I drive a jet dryer," says Logano.
Alex Bowman follows that he's also running out of supplies in his RV, and that he's already exercised, spent a ton of money on auto parts, and ready to run the dryer if that is. The waiting game continues.
4:20 pm: Progress lost
The NASCAR radar reports that the drying progress on the back and front legs has been lost due to the thicker fog. The track is still good and it looks increasingly like there will be no more races today as the weather radar shows moisture in the air through the afternoon.
3:30 p.m .: Round 567 ...
NASCAR radios to reinstall the jet dryers with supposedly lighter fog.
3:00 p.m .: fog is increasing
According to reports from the Speedway, a heavy fog / light drizzle has increased. There's no word from NASCAR about another postponement, but the forecast for the rest of the day doesn't look promising, especially the fact that even with the rain subsiding, the fog is still heavy enough to wet the track. We are approaching 48 hours since the last race.
2:20 p.m .: Air Titans return
NASCAR is calling back the Air Titans to continue drying efforts with less mist in the air.
2 p.m .: Track still wet, thicker fog
Reports from the track indicate the fog has picked up, and NASCAR calls its jet dryers to stop for fuel. The live camera shows more water on the lens and the latest forecast projects are raining from 4:00 p.m. CT so this could be another very long and uneventful day. According to a report from Motorsport.com, NASCAR has told drivers that they should be ready to drive in Texas on Thursday if necessary, when the forecast falls on a very low chance of rain and partly sunny skies. The track remains wet for the time being.
1:08 p.m .: Jet dryer out
NASCAR is calling its jet dryers on track, indicating that further progress could be made. However, according to a Kickin 'the Tires reporter on the track, the Elgin dryer remains parked on its side.
12:45 p.m .: Still fog (what's new)
Air Titans continue to work on the track, but the fog is too heavy, according to NASCAR scanners, to send out the jet dryers. One of the vacuum cleaners is out of order. Drivers and teams get creative on social media during their downtime.
12 noon: The track is drying in progress, but not yet ready to race
The fog has reportedly lightened and NASCAR is using its fleet of Air Titan dryers to start work on the track 10 minutes before the scheduled race time. According to a media member on the speedway, due to the cold temperatures and excessive wetness, the drying of the track will take about three hours when there is no more moisture falling. Front Row Motorsports discusses prep logistics for the rescheduled race, saying that getting freight forwarders from Texas to the North Carolina store prior to departure for the Martinsville race will be the biggest issue. This week will be a boost for smaller teams, especially as their road crews are also working on the cars for the next race, as FRM mentions.
11:30 a.m.: Uncertain forecasts
Certain weather forecasts and radars show a lower chance of rain in Fort Worth from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT. Others point out that light fog will be an ongoing problem throughout the afternoon. The route is very cold, the local temperature fluctuates around 40 degrees, so it takes some time for the route to dry (usually 1.5 to two hours). The cold will likely make the traction mass smoother too, and teams expect a less-grip track when they return to racing. There's no official update from NASCAR yet, but the industry continues to monitor local weather conditions for an opening.
10:40 a.m.: Race start probably delayed
Light rain throughout the morning created a wet track on Texas Motor Speedway. A live view of the speedway can be found here. The race is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. EST, but NASCAR has not made any effort to dry the track. Therefore, today's start will likely be delayed again. The weather forecast shows a possible rainy clearing around noon. NASCAR will attempt to finish this race before heading to Martinsville this weekend, even if that means waiting for the rain between the rain cells for 114 laps to make the race official.
NASCAR PLAYOFF POINTS STAND
ADV (victory in Kansas)
Martin Truex Jr.
NASCAR RACE START ORDER (TUESDAY)
Joey Logano *
Martin Truex Jr. *
Chase Elliott *
Brad Keselowski *
Kurt Busch *
Denny Hamlin *
Alex Bowman *
John Hunter Nemechek
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Reed Sorenson (down one lap)
Kevin Harvick * (down one lap)
Josh Bilicki (two rounds down)
Chris Buescher (-10)
Quin Houff (-11)
JJ Yeley (out)
* Playoff driver
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