NASCAR cited safety issues for Bristol postponement

NASCAR had to postpone their biggest race of the year due to Mother Nature

It’s no secret that NASCAR has endured a very difficult 48 hours during a weekend that was supposed to mark the series’ return to dirt after 50 years. From tire issues to drivers being unable to see through windshields caked with dirt, the weekend is fast unraveling into a shambles not seen since the 2008 Brickyard 400, when tires were popping faster than a popcorn machine during a blockbuster premiere.

NASCAR announced on Sunday they would have to delay the race by another day due to flooding. It came after a four-day period of rain had already battered the state of Tennessee, turning Bristol Motor Speedway into a makeshift mud pit.

“It’ll be just like normal for us — we’ll gear back up for another race,” BMS president Jerry Caldwell said. “We’ve got a great team here in Bristol and we’ll make sure we get cleaned up from this because we have some debris on the property and will need to clean up some parking areas and bridges so that we can welcome fans and have our facility beautiful as always. We’ll gear up.”

NASCAR was originally supposed to host the Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday and use the rest of the evening to run Cup Series heats for the following day’s main event. This was all postponed to Sunday, however, due to incessant rain ruining the track conditions and creating a problem of radiators and windshields getting clogged up by red clay.

“My anticipation is high,” Caldwell said when asked about the Cup race. “I really am looking forward to it. My greatest anticipation is really for the fans. I love that our fans are so excited; they are so hyped up for this event and it has gotten so much attention and I know it’s going to be a great show tomorrow. Can’t wait for the sport as a whole to experience that. I wish it had been today, but I know we’re going to have a beautiful day tomorrow and still be able to get this in.”

NASCAR’s attempted return to dirt racing was widely appreciated by the fans of the sport, but so far, the series has faced nothing but embarrassment for their efforts. It remains to be seen whether Mother Nature will cooperate on Monday.

Published 29 Mar 2021, 11:55 IST

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