NASCAR weather updates: Will rain in Bristol end Sunday’s Cup race early?

NASCAR Cup Series drivers have already been struggling to race on the dirt track of Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday night. Before long, they could be driving in mud.

Rain has threatened to end Sunday’s Food City Dirt Race early as it moves into the area. The race is official, with at least 125 of the scheduled 250 laps having been completed, and can be called if racing cannot resume.

The race has already had eight caution flags for cars spinning and dirt in grids. The green flag was briefly waved off after the fifth and caution because of rain in the area.

MORE: Live updates, results, highlights from Food City Dirt Race

Will Sunday’s race be delayed or called off early? The Sporting News is tracking weather updates around the Food City Dirt Race in Bristol.

NASCAR at Bristol weather updates

(All times Eastern)

10:43 p.m.: Engines have been re-fired.

10:40 p.m.: NASCAR believes it won’t be much longer until the race is able to resume.

10:34 p.m.: The packer cars are coming out to try and dry the track.

10:32 p.m.: Current rain cell doesn’t look like it will leave the Bristol area for a while, per The Weather Channel. At this point, NASCAR is likely just hoping it can be light enough to allow the drivers to get in the remaining 28 laps.

10:31 p.m.: Drivers haven’t left their cars. If the race is able to resume, it would still take another 20 minutes for NASCAR to dry the track.

10:28 p.m.: This race is going back to red with 28 laps left. Reddick is currently the leader, and would win if it is called official.

9:43 p.m.: Engines have been re-fired. This breed is going to resume.

9:36 p.m.: Drivers are heading back to their cars.

9:22 p.m.: Rain is still coming down on the track, but it is much lighter now than earlier.

9:09 p.m.: There is optimism that this race will go back to green, per the Fox broadcast. The rain is moving away enough to give NASCAR an opening to run the race.

9:02 p.m.: There is still rain out on the track. Radar doesn’t show much of a respite, though it could at least be a bit lighter.

8:52 p.m.: Fox’s Bob Pockrass reporting that drivers have been told to stay near the cars with the hope that the race can resume. He reports the track would take 20 minutes to be prepared once the rain is over.

8:49 p.m.: The rain is really coming down now.

8:48 p.m.: Covers are coming out for the cars.

8:46 p.m.: Bell’s tires spun on the track, and several cars were forced to return to pit road. The race is still under the red flag stage caution, but the track does not look good.

8:41 p.m.: The weather certainly does not look good for the rest of the night. The Weather Channel has plenty of green over the Bristol area, and reports that rain is expected for the next several hours.

8:36 p.m.: Chase Briscoe, who won the second stage, was told on the radio to hope for rain at this point. The race has had enough time, and could be official if it ended.

What time did the NASCAR race start today?

  • Date: Sunday, April 17
  • Time: 7:04 p.m. ET

Sunday’s race at Bristol started at 7:04 pm ET on Sunday. It had originally been scheduled to begin at 7:14 pm, but it was moved up 10 minutes because of the threat of rain.

NASCAR LINEUP AT BRISTOL: Starting order, pole

What channel is NASCAR on today?

The Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be carried by Fox in the US and TSN in Canada. Last Sunday’s race in Martinsville, Va., was carried by FS1, but the next two races will be carried by Fox before the series returns to FS1 on May 1.

Mike Joy will be on the call for lap-by-lap action, with Clint Bowyer and Darrell Waltrip joining him in the booth for analysis. Fox has used rotating analysts in 2021 after Jeff Gordon left to work for Hendrick Motorsports.

Fans who have cut the cord on cable can also find the race on Fox Sports Go or fuboTV, which offers a free trial.

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