NASCAR will need to wait another day to find out if its dirt track experiment was worth it or not. Racing officials postponed Sunday’s Truck and Cup Series races until Monday (March 29) because of bad weather.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Bristol, Tennessee, late Saturday for early Sunday afternoon. Forecasters extended that until Sunday evening. Forcing NASCAR to push back the date of the Bristol Speedway race.
The Truck race is now set for noon ET Monday. The Cup race is scheduled for 4 p.m., NBC Sports said.
The forecast for Monday in Bristol is sunny with temperatures in the 50s and no chance of rain, NBC said.
NASCAR Hoping Gamble Pays Off
When NASCAR announced last year that this would be held on dirt, drivers were split over the idea. As the date has inched closer, that excitement and trepidation are growing. This race will provide all new problems for drivers and teams.
“We tried a lot of things, trying to find the right balance…it’s gonna be wild. It’s crazy, if you get too far behind somebody, you lose them in the dust. You can’t even see them because they just disappear,” Kurt Busch said in a Twitter video.
Monday’s Food City Dirt Race is the first time since 1970 that the Cup Series raced on dirt. So very few people have any knowledge first-hand experience with these kinds of cars on that track.
“There is a lot of science to dirt racing and the type of dirt that you race on,” Senior Vice President of Operations at Speedway Motorsports said regarding the issue. “We had to look for different types of dirt, there’s a lot of red clay in the area, but there’s good red clay and bad red clay. We’ve talked with a lot of experts, to people who know a lot more about dirt than anyone would ever want to know about dirt.”
Though not everyone is as excited about the possibilities. One of those critics is racing legend Richard Petty, who was the last person to ever win a Cup Series race on a dirt track. He thinks the race is taking the sport in the wrong direction.
“… Dirt-track racing is not professional, so we’re going backward. It would be like taking a professional football team and going back to play at a high school field,” he said when the race was announced last year.
NASCAR officials and fans will find out Monday now, it seems.