Football coaching legend Jimmy Johnson gave the command for drivers to start their engines to start Sunday's NASCAR race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. And he did so right as rain started falling on Turns 3 and 4 of the 1.5-mile track in South Florida.
Thus, the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead did not start on time due to bad weather in the area. After a delay of almost an hour, the engines were re-fired to start the race at 4:41 p.m. ET. And after a few laps, the race was delayed yet again due to lightning in the area, and then again at 7:30 p.m. ET due to more lightning.
Sunday's Cup Series race at Homestead technically is part of a NASCAR doubleheader, as the Xfinity Series race started at noon and ran its full distance without any weather-related interruptions. The good news for Cup race is that the forecast in the Miami area is not too ominous.
Below is what we know about the weather forecast and conditions NASCAR will monitor as it tries to get Sunday's race completed.
NASCAR race weather updates
According to weather.com, the chances of rain in the Homestead area are around 50 percent throughout the evening, which is typical for a region in which pop-up storms are common in June.
The bigger issue is lightning in the area. NASCAR just after 4 p.m. ET announced it had to delay the start of the race because of a lightning strike within eight miles of the track. The race got started, but after just five laps, more lightning strikes prompted a red flag. Joey Logano was leading when the race was delayed.
At 6:08 p.m. ET, drivers were called back to their cars and even restarted their engines. However, another lightning strike at 6:20 p.m. ET meant the race could not start for at least another 30 minutes. At 6:54 p.m. ET, drivers were given the all-clear to return to their cars. Engines were restarted at 7:04 p.m. ET, and a few minutes later, the green flag came out.
Several laps were run before a lightning strike again haulted the action around 7:30 p.m. ET. Chase Elliott was leading at the time the caution (and then the red flag) came out.
At 8:02 p.m. ET, NASCAR gave drivers the all-clear to return to their cars.
At 8:05 PM ET, 80°F, RH: 82%, Light & variable winds @HomesteadMiami. Line of t-storms abt 15 mi NW of track is weakening as it slowly moves SW. Coordinating w/@NASCAR_Wxman for #DixieVodka400 pic.twitter.com/FOJ0bcynd6
— RaceWeather - Aaron Studwell, Ph.D. (@RaceWeather) June 15, 2020
A live radar for the area can be found here.
NASCAR has a policy that states all action must pause for at least 30 minutes for a single lightning strike within eight miles of the track.
Homestead-Miami Speedway does have lights and is a track that can be dried relatively quickly, so NASCAR has plenty of time to get Sunday's race in as scheduled. The race needs to reach the halfway point in order to be considered official.