No, Talladega Superspeedway does not have lights, so the rain that delayed Sunday’s race after the end of Stage 1 could indeed push the 1000Bulbs.com 500 into Monday.
As of 9 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, five hours before the green flag waved, rain was falling at Talladega. The rain eventually stopped and allowed for the start of the race, but according to Sunday’s forecast, via Weather.com, more rain was considered possible beginning around 3:30 p.m. local (central) time.
NASCAR moved the scheduled green flag time for Sunday’s race at Talladega up 15 minutes, from 2:18 p.m. ET to 2:03 p.m. ET (1:03 p.m. CT). The race began on time and ran through the end of Stage 1 (Lap 55) before the red flag came out for rain. The race needs to reach the end of Stage 2 (Lap 110) to be considered official.
Brian Neudorff, a meteorologist who provides forecasts and racing outlooks for NASCAR races, predicted “hit and miss showers all day.” He placed the odds of finishing the race Sunday at 60 percent.
Sundown at Talladega comes at 6:15 p.m. CT. According to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, should the race get delayed until Monday, the tentative plan would be to start it at 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET). The race would broadcast on NBCSN.
AccuWeather’s forecast for Talladega on Sunday was similar to Weather.com’s outlook. Afternoon precipitation chances spike at 51 percent around 3 p.m. CT with a chance of thunderstorms, and the chances for precipitation never dip below 31 percent throughout the day.
The 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega, the Cup Series’ second visit to the track this season, is fifth race of the 2019 playoffs. This is the third year in a row the fifth race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs will be held at Talladega.
Talladega Superspeedway is a massive, 2.66-mile oval that features 33-degree banking in the turns, 16.5-degree banking along the frontstretch and two-degree banking along the backstretch, so drying the track is a relatively lengthy process.