Oh Mother Nature, what is wrong with you? You forced winter to stick around a bit longer than she wanted to, brought us a taste of summer almost as a tease, then decided to turn down the temperature just days later.
You certainly aren’t a race fan, we have seen that so far this season.
But even this weekend, you couldn’t make up your mind. Sunday began under the cloudy skies, with rain coming down, but then you decided to stop and have us race for a while. Yet then the skies opened up again, things halted. It stopped, only to restart again. Finally you decided to make things rain harder than at any point during the day, and forced a suspension of competition.
This is exactly how I feel when racing doesn’thappen as scheduled, but especially when it actually starts, only to stop later in the afternoon.
It’s no different than baseball when they start a game and have to halt it after rain makes conditions unplayable. Just like NASCAR, MLB has a point where they can consider a game “official”, which is after the fifth inning as the game is over halfway done, and depending on who is ahead, they can either suspend play or call it over.
NASCAR’s rule is to call a race official once the second stage is complete. Ironically, the way officials had it set up, the second stage ended at lap 250, in a race with 500 laps. Prior to stage racing, the point NASCAR called a race official was halfway plus one lap.
How close were they to being an official race on Sunday? The caution flag came out at lap 204, and the red flag got put out at lap 205, just 45 laps before the required distance.
That still wasn’t the closest they came to an official race before a rain delay. I know, because I was there.
Michigan 2001, in a 200 lap race, the red flag for rain was posted at lap 99. That afternoon, they did go back racing, but did not make the full distance as they had more rain come in during the afternoon, and officials called an end to the afternoon with about 40 laps remaining in the scheduled distance.
Unfortunately, no one can predict the weather, we just have to deal with it. But it is very clear, Mother Nature hates racing.
STAGE 1: Brad Keselowski
STAGE 2: Brad Keselowski
RESULTS: 1-Kyle Busch 2-Larson 3-Johnson 4-Stenhouse Jr. 5-Bowman 6-Almirola 7-Harvick 8-Bowyer 9-Logano 10-Newman
NOTABLE FINISHES: 15-Dillon 30-Truex Jr.
CAUTIONS: 13 for 114 laps. Lap 5-9 (#9, 24, 78, 19, 47, 15, 34, 38, 66 Incident-FS); 18-22 (#47,1 Incident-T2); 47-59 (Weather [Red flag-25 Mins, 25 Secs.]); 62-67 (#17, 20 , 22 Incident-T4); 119-124 (#12, 1, 37, 38, 51, 6 Incident-T3 [Red flag-6 Mins, 29 Secs.]); 127-134 (Stage 1 conclusion); 156-169 (#6 Incident-T4 [Red Flag-26 Mins, 54 Secs.]); 204-217 (Weather); 252-261 (Stage 2 conclusion); 325-329 (#42, 31 Incident-FS);
355-365 (#55 Incident-T4); 391-399 (Weather); 471-478 (#2 Incident-T2).
LEAD CHANGES: 18 among 8 drivers. Kyle Busch 1-16; R. Blaney 17-55; J. Logano 56; R. Blaney 57-117; B. Keselowski 118-130; K. Larson 131-243; B. Keselowski 244-261; D. Hamlin 262-265; B. Keselowski 266-292; K. Larson 293-324; Kyle Busch 325-360; D. Suarez 361-365; B. Keselowski 366-374; D. Wallace Jr. # 375-380;
Kyle Busch 381-438; K. Larson 439-472; Kyle Busch 473; K. Larson 474-494; Kyle Busch 495-500.
TIME OF RACE: 3 Hrs, 26 Mins, 25 Secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 77.465 MPH
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.628 Seconds
POINT STANDINGS (Earned/Behind Leader [Playoff Points]): 1. Kyle Busch, 365 ; 2. Logano, -59; 3. Harvick, -75 ; 4. Bowyer, -79 ; 5. Keselowski, -94 ; 6. Blaney, -98 ; 7. Truex, -108 ; 8. Hamlin, -113 ; 9. Larson, -116; 10. Kurt Busch, -124 ; 14. Dillon, -182 .