NASCAR’s Cup playoff race in Texas was postponed Sunday night after 52 laps on a misty day that slowly deteriorated to drizzle while it never actually rained before the event was called off.
The delay was just over four hours, and the restart planned for Monday morning. But the forecast isn’t promising with a 90% chance of rain overnight and the forecast high temperature barely reaching 50 degrees.
The pandemic-reduced crowd watched Clint Bowyer emerge as the leader with Jimmie Johnson second in the last Texas race as full-time drivers for both veterans.
The cars kept running for eight laps after the weather caution first came out as jet dryers circled the track. The cars sat uncovered on pit road for about half and hour before the tarps came out and the drivers and crews headed for cover.
Martin Truex Jr. was moved to the back of the field because of an illegal spoiler, and crew chief James Small was ejected. But Truex, also fined $35,000 and docked 20 points in a blow to his championship outlook, was all the way up to fifth when the race was stopped.
Joey Logano is the only driver guaranteed a spot in the final four after winning the first of three qualifying races last week in Kansas. The last qualifier in the round of eight is next week at Martinsville before the championship finale in Phoenix.
Kevin Harvick, who has won the last three fall races in Texas and is a nine-time winner this season, is in the best shape among the other seven playoff contenders.
Harvick brushed the wall while leading on Lap 29 as the track conditions worsened and came away with some damage to his right side. But the No. 4 Ford was running when the 334-lap race was halted, one lap down in 36th.