Lee Storms Atlanta - Race Postponed
HAMPTON, Ga. — The fans were ready. The teams were ready. NASCAR was ready. But the weather wouldn't cooperate Sunday, forcing the postponement of the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Due to public safety concerns — Monday's forecast calls for possible tornadoes and strong winds in addition to heavy rain — NASCAR president Mike Helton said the race has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. ET Tuesday, and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The garage will open two hours earlier for crews.
Helton said rain that hit just as the track was nearly dry meant it "will take three to three and a half hours to dry, which means it will be 12:30 a.m. ET before we start."
"Starting sometime later [Sunday night], it's about 100 percent chance in this area [there will] more than likely be 3, 4, 5 inches of rain, high wind and all the things that create dangerous situations with weather," Helton said. "We'll have respect for that and reschedule this race to start at 11 Tuesday morning."
Compounding the issue is the fact that teams need time to prepare for Saturday night's race at Richmond, the final race before the Chase field is set. Helton said that factored into the sanctioning body's decision.
"Hopefully, the weather will be OK Tuesday and we'll just be a couple of days behind [heading to Richmond]," Helton said. "But we'll catch up pretty quick, I hope."
Helton said it will be up to series director John Darby and Robin Pemberton director of competition as to what adjustments will be allowed to be made on the cars, which haven't been on the track since Saturday afternoon.
"The fact that they've sat for a good period of time, not just overnight, we'll have to take into consideration climate changes, including daylight to dark — and what weather comes through here — before we can get them out of the garage and decide what might be done," Helton said.Continued on the next page