Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bristol off until Monday

- By Jenna Fryer Associated Press

BRISTOL, Tenn. — NASCAR postponed the Monster Energy Cup race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway because of heavy rain that was not expected to let up. The race was reschedule­d to 1 p.m. Monday.

Weather has been a problem all weekend at Bristol, where Friday qualificat­ions were washed out. Saturday, the Xfinity Series race had a lengthy stoppage for rain.

Cup points leader Kyle Larson will start on the pole next to Chase Elliott.

Bristol officials this year applied a VHT resin to the track surface that is intended to enhance grip. But the nonstop rain has washed away most of the tire rubber accumulate­d through three practice sessions.

It’s unclear if both the preferred bottom lane and top line will work Monday. If only one lane works, it could turn into a throwback Bristol race in which bumping is the only way to pass a car. Larson said he expected NASCAR to call a competitio­n caution early in the first stage Monday to check tire wear.

“I’m sure we will all pit probably because it has shown a lot of tire wear on the left side, so I’m sure everybody will pit,” Larson said.

“We will see if people take two or four or whatever, but it kind of just depends on what position you are in at that point if you are going to take two or four [tires].”

Five-time Bristol winner Kurt Busch called the rain “a blessing in disguise.”

“The track was talking about laying down more VHT and they can’t do it while it’s wet,” Busch said. “The VHT is like a grip applicator and you have to heat it up to make it work.”

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