Coca-Cola 600 Delayed For Rain, Storms Expected To Continue Throughout The Night In Charlotte

Cars driving at the Coca Cola 600.
Chris Graythen / Getty Images

The Coca-Cola 600 has been delayed for rain, and it could be a while before the NASCAR race returns.

Sunday’s NASCAR race was hit with a major delay as heavy rain started to fall on the track just after 7 p.m. ET, with Kurt Busch leading on lap 50. With 350 laps to go in the race, it’s not clear when the competition could resume as some weather forecasts at Darlington Raceway look dicey.

As Action Network reported, there had been a 60 percent chance of rain at the track in Charlotte, North Carolina, which included the possibility of thunderstorms. The report noted that the track is equipped to deal with delays, and the race could be called early — though it was not yet close to that point.

“Charlotte Motor Speedway does have lights, so NASCAR will have the ability to stop and restart the race throughout the night should it need to work around rain,” the report noted. “If rain is enough of factor to prevent the race from completing the full 400 laps, the Coca-Cola 600 will be official once it reaches halfway, which is lap 200.”

If the race has to be moved from Sunday, the completion could continue to look difficult. The Action Network report noted that there is a 40 percent chance of rain on Monday during the day and a 30 percent chance at night.

Reporter Bob Pockrass noted after Sunday’s delay that there appeared to be a break in the weather coming, though rain was expected to continue throughout the evening on Sunday.

The delay put a halt to a strong start for Busch, who had led all 50 laps to start the race. In an interview during the rain delay, a mask-wearing Busch thanked American service members ahead of Memorial Day and told fans that they were lucky to be out of the rain.

“If there’s any good news race fans, you don’t have to sit in the rain,” Busch said.

The Coca-Cola 600 had generated significant interest as one of the few live sporting events to take place in the U.S. since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. NASCAR was able to return last week with The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, which NASCAR officials said went well, despite the long delay in the racing season.

“Things actually went smoother than we could have expected getting all the teams in and inspection went well. All in all, a really good day for the sport. Excited to be back,” said NASCAR executive Steve O’Donnell.