Mar 16, 2014, 2:43 PM EDT
UPDATE (2:43 p.m. ET): Pre-race ceremonies, including the driver introductions, invocation and national anthem, have been completed at Bristol Motor Speedway. It appears we’re ready to go racing in the Food City 500. Keep an eye on MotorSportsTalk throughout the afternoon for coverage.
UPDATE (1:46 p.m. ET): Good news for fans hoping to see the Food City 500 later today. The rain has apparently lightened up to the point where NASCAR has been able to deploy the Air Titan track drying system.
Hendrick Motorsports has passed along word that driver intros are now set to go off just after 2 p.m. ET…
Additionally, NASCAR officials have now made their way to Race Control – another good sign.
UPDATE (12:43 p.m. ET): Steady rains at Bristol Motor Speedway have delayed the start of today’s Food City 500 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Rain was falling early this morning and has continued to do so as we head into the afternoon. The 500-lap race was scheduled to begin just after 1 p.m. ET.
Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News reported that Bristol general manager Jerry Caldwell was hopeful that the track could catch a break in the afternoon.
And in a brief statement that’s just been released, Caldwell has reiterated that hope…
“At this time, the NASCAR Sprint Cup pre-race and Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway are on hold due to weather. There appears to be a mid to late afternoon window and we are hopeful to begin drying the track at that time for the running of the event. More information on http://www.bristolmotorspeedway.com as it becomes available.”
NASCAR policy states that a race becomes official when it goes past the halfway point – in this case, Lap 251 of 500. And once again, it should be noted that Bristol does have a lighting system and NASCAR’s Air Titan track drying system is on hand.
Yesterday, the track stated that they were ready to run the race at Noon ET tomorrow should today prove to be a total washout. Monday’s forecast in Bristol calls for a 60 percent chance of rain that tapers down to 40 percent by nightfall.