NASCAR's Cup playoff at misty Texas put on hold another day

STEPHEN HAWKINS
·2 min read

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Texas was pushed back yet another day without drivers completing any more laps Monday.

Eight hours after the race was scheduled to resume on a misty day with temperatures in the low 40s Fahrenheit (single digits Celsius), NASCAR postponed it and decided to try again Tuesday.

Similar weather conditions were in the forecast for Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Only 52 of the scheduled 334 laps were completed Sunday before mist and drizzle forced the race to stop. There was a delay of more than four hours then before the race was postponed a day.

Another 115 laps have to be completed to get to the halfway mark of 167 laps that would make Texas an official race.

There are still three spots up for grabs for the four-driver championship race in the season finale at Phoenix. The only other race between Texas and Phoenix is Sunday at Martinsville, the shortest and oldest Cup track.

Joey Logano opened the final three-race playoff round with a win at Kansas, where he held off Kevin Harvick for the final 40-plus laps to get a victory that took him from outside the top four to a guaranteed championship chance in the Nov. 8 finale.

Harvick, who has won the last three fall races at Texas and is a nine-time winner this season, brushed the wall while leading on Lap 29. With damage to his car’s right side, he was 36th and one lap down when the race stopped Sunday.

The only laps completed Monday on the 1 1/2-mile track were by the Air Titan and jet dryer trucks. The race cars remained parked in the garage, never rolling to pit road.

There were several periods Monday when the track appeared to be drying, before more misty conditions would further soak the track. There was never a hard rain, but cool temperatures and the lack of any sunshine made it impossible to completely dry the asphalt.

Two drivers retiring from full-time NASCAR competition after this season, Clint Bowyer and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, stayed first and second for another night.

The cars kept running for eight laps after the weather caution first came out Sunday, with jet dryers circling the track at the same time. The cars then sat uncovered on pit road for about half an hour before the tarps came out, and the drivers and crews headed for cover.

Erik Jones was running third, ahead of Logano.

Martin Truex Jr. will resume the race in fifth place, having already recovered from being forced to start at the back of the field because of an illegal spoiler. He was just ahead of fellow playoff contender Chase Elliott.

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