NASCAR at Talladega: Rain, severe weather postpone the Geico 500 to Monday

Sporting News

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live sports globally, a NASCAR Cup Series race was scheduled to run with generally admitted fans in the stands, albeit in limited numbers. This relative return to normalcy comes at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR's biggest and arguably its most exciting track.

Mother nature had other ideas, though. Due to severe weather, Sunday's race at Talladega was postponed to Monday. It will begin at 3 p.m. ET on Fox.

When it does run, the race at Talladega will mark the first Cup Series event at a 2.5-mile superspeedway since the Daytona 500, which ended with Ryan Newman's terrifying crash on the last lap. That accident led to some superspeedway-specific rule changes that are being implemented for the first time this week at Talladega.

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Because Ford and specifically Team Penske have been so dominant at Talladega of late, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are among the favorites to win Monday's Geico 500. Also a popular pick to win is Chase Elliott, who took the victory in the spring race at Talladega last season.

Of course, picking the winner of a NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega is the motorsports equivalent of throwing pegs at a dart board. The great equalizer that is pack racing should make for an exciting race that, with some speed and a little more luck, can be won by just about anybody.

MORE: Watch all NASCAR races live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

NASCAR at Talladega live updates, highlights from Geico 500

5:13 p.m. ET: NASCAR makes it official. The Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway had been postponed to Monday due to severe weather.

4:57 p.m. ET: As another storm cell approaches the track, a new lightning hold is put in place. Track drying efforts continue.

4:27 p.m. ET: The lightning hold has been lifted, and track trying efforts continue.

4 p.m. ET: NASCAR deploys its Air Titans and jet dryers to begin drying the track, but rain is still sprinkling with lightning still in the area.

3:10 p.m. ET: More lightning at the track, plus additional reports of rain and heavy wind with a passing storm cell. NASCAR hopes the storm will pass relatively quickly, but the track has already been lost and will need to be dried.

2:35 p.m. ET: Due to a lightning strike near the track, NASCAR puts a 30-minute hold on activity at Talladega. Here are some strong storms to the west of the track.

1:08 p.m. ET: NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell tweets a message in response to a massive Confederate flag banner with the words "Defund NASCAR" being flown by a plane over the track.

10:37 a.m. ET: Joe Gibbs Racing showcases a special paint scheme for Denny Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota Camry. Courtesy of the team's primary sponsor FedEx, the all-black look features the logo of the National Civil Rights Museum on the hood of the car.

8:44 a.m. ET: Brian Neudorff, a meteorologist who provides weather forecasts for NASCAR races, warns that there are expected to be scattered thunderstorms in the Talladega, Ala., area on Sunday that could impact the race.

What time does the NASCAR race start Monday?

  • Date: Sunday, June 21 Monday, June 22

  • Start time: 3 p.m. ET

  • TV channel: Fox

  • Live stream: Fox Sports Go | fuboTV (7-day free trial)

The green flag for Monday's postponed NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega will wave shortly after 3 p.m. ET.

Talladega, Ala., is located in the Central Time Zone, so the race's start time locally will be 2 p.m. ET. That's notable considering Talladega Superspeedway does not have lights in the event the race is delayed again.

MORE: Explaining NASCAR's new rules package for Talladega

NASCAR starting lineup at Talladega

37 Daniel Suarez 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing

Here are the results from the draw for NASCAR's starting lineup at Talladega:

Pos.

Driver

Car No.

Team

1

Martin Truex Jr.

19

Joe Gibbs Racing

2

Denny Hamlin

11

Joe Gibbs Racing

3

Kyle Busch

18

Joe Gibbs Racing

4

Jimmie Johnson

48

Hendrick Motorsports

5

Kevin Harvick

4

Stewart-Haas Racing

6

Brad Keselowski

2

Team Penske

7

Kurt Busch

1

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

Alex Bowman

88

Hendrick Motorsports

9

Joey Logano

22

Team Penske

10

Clint Bowyer

14

Stewart-Haas Racing

11

Chase Elliott

9

Hendrick Motorsports

12

Ryan Blaney

12

Team Penske

13

Matt Kenseth

42

Chip Ganassi Racing

14

Ryan Newman

6

Roush Fenway Racing

15

Aric Almirola

10

Stewart-Haas Racing

16

Tyler Reddick

8

Richard Childress Racing

17

Austin Dillon

3

Richard Childress Racing

18

Erik Jones

20

Joe Gibbs Racing

19

William Byron

24

Hendrick Motorsports

20

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

47

JTG Daugherty Racing

21

Chris Buescher

17

Roush Fenway Racing

22

John Hunter Nemechek

38

Front Row Motorsports

23

Matt DiBenedetto

21

Wood Brothers Racing

24

Bubba Wallace

43

Richard Petty Motorsports

25

Corey LaJoie

32

Go Fas Racing

26

Michael McDowell

34

Front Row Motorsports

27

Brennan Poole

15

Premium Motorsports

28

Cole Custer

41

Stewart-Haas Racing

29

Gray Gaulding

27

Rick Ware Racing

30

BJ McLeod

77

Spire Motorsports

31

Ryan Preece

37

JTG Daugherty Racing

32

Quin Houff

00

StarCom Racing

33

Ty Dillon

13

Germain Racing

34

JJ Yeley

53

Rick Ware Racing

35

Christopher Bell

95

Leavine Family Racing

36

Joey Gase

51

Petty Ware Racing

37

Daniel Suarez

96

Gaunt Brothers Racing

38

Timmy Hill

66

Motorsports Business Management

39

Brendan Gaughan

62

Beard Motorsports

40

Garrett Smithley

78

B.J. McLeod Motorsports

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