Bristol race underway again after rain delay

Update 7:17 p.m.:
(WBIR) Racing got underway once again after the race was red-flagged due to rain.

Updated story Sunday 3:50 p.m.:
(WBIR) The rain has gotten in the way of Sunday's NASCAR race once again.

The Food City 500 stopped around 3:50 p.m. due to weather. So far, they've raced 125 of 500 laps.

Matt Kenseth currently leads the race, followed by Jamie McMurray and Brad Keselowski.

WCYB reports the rain should move out of the track area by 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Previous story:
(WBIR) Sunday's NASCAR race got underway just before 3 p.m., after a nearly two-hour rain delay.

University of Tennessee's Coach Butch Jones and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer served as the co-grand marshals for the Food City 500.

Original story
(USA TODAY) The weather has become the central character again in NASCAR's early season.

The Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is being delayed by rain Sunday afternoon.

The scheduled green flag was for 1:13 p.m. (Fox). NASCAR has scheduled driver introductions for 2:05.

The National Weather Service forecasts a 90 percent chance of showers Sunday afternoon and evening with a predicted high of 54. Monday's forecast calls for 60 percent chance of rain.

If the race is postponed until Monday, the green flag is scheduled for noon.

NASCAR's crown jewel -- the season-opening Daytona 500 -- was delayed by rain for more than six hours on Feb. 23 and finally was completed under the lights. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his second 500 at 11:18 p.m.

The rain delay started just after 2 p.m. and began a red flag that lasted six hours, 21 minutes and 40 seconds and brought intermittent storms and a tornado warning.

NASCAR has the Air Titan track drying system at the .533-mile Bristol oval and it would take about an hour to dry the surface if there is a big enough window to get the race started. The track also is equipped with lights.

Denny Hamlin turned the fastest qualifying lap — 129.991 mph — in Bristol Cup history Friday to win the pole.

Here's the starting lineup:

1. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota

2. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford

3. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota

4. (22) Joey Logano, Ford

5. (9) Marcos Ambrose, Ford

6. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet

7. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota

8. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford

9. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet

10. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet

11. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet

12. (99) Carl Edwards, Ford

13. (41) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet

14. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet

15. (15) Clint Bowyer, Toyota

16. (38) David Gilliland, Ford

17. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet

18. (26) Cole Whitt, Toyota

19. (34) David Ragan, Ford

20. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet

21. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford

22. (47) A J Allmendinger, Chevrolet

23. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford

24. (95) Michael McDowell, Ford

25. (13) Casey Mears, Chevrolet

26. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet

27. (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet

28. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet

29. (78) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet

30. (51) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet

31. (40) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet

32. (98) Josh Wise, Chevrolet

33. (23) Alex Bowman, Toyota

34. (7) Michael Annett, Chevrolet

35. (36) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet

36. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet

37. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet

38. (55) Brian Vickers, Toyota

39. (32) Travis Kvapil, Ford

40. (83) Ryan Truex, Toyota

41. (30) Parker Kligerman, Toyota

42. (66) Joe Nemechek, Toyota

43. (33) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet


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