NASCAR is usually wild, but Sunday’s race added “wet” to the equation.
Lots of warning flags, multiple wrecks, and a red flag break wouldn’t stop Chase Elliott from taking the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix, his sixth win on the road and his first overall win of the year.
Though lightning didn’t push back the start of the race, the wet weather forced many delays on Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. There were also six DNFs that day and several other drivers ended the race with damaged cars.
The worst wreck of the race was Cole Custer and Martin Truex Jr., who escaped a major collision due to poor visibility. Custer’s car caught fire after the wreck, but Custer left it unscathed.
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Sporting News followed highlights, updates and more from the rain-shortened race on Sunday below (all times east).
NASCAR at COTA: EchoPark Texas Grand Prix Results
Official race results:
|22nd||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|35||Martin Truex Jr.|
NASCAR at COTA live updates, highlights from the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix
6:30 p.m. FINISH: Chase Elliott wins as NASCAR calls the race because of bad weather.
6:25 pm: This session has been marked red due to bad weather.
6:15 pm: Another yellow flag was canceled due to stagnant water on the route. Bad rain is coming.
6:08 pm: 16 laps left and Chase Elliott is in the lead. Kyle Busch pits.
5:51:23 laps before the race, Ross Chstain is currently leading the field. Course is still a little wet.
5:38 pm: Bush, Elliott both pit. Busch hasn’t had a box since round 8.
5:33 pm: Busch built a five-second lead when pole-sitter Tyler Reddick retired. No damage.
5:23 pm: Kyle Busch opens up another lead with the restart at level 3. Hopefully no interruptions from here to the checkered flag.
5:09 p.m. End phase 2: Kyle Busch holds back Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindric for the stage win. Messy stage.
4:59 pm: We have a green flag with four laps before the second stage. Kyle Busch and Austin Cindric fight for first place.
4:55 pm: The track looks drier, but not dry.
4:49 pm: The rain seems to be easing off a bit and the drivers are now leaving the pit lane.
4:40 pm: The drivers start under yellow. Lap 26 now and they’re coming down the pit lane.
4:31 pm Track crew scratches and dries the tracks. Just a total mess.
4:18 pm: After the Custer-Truex incident, the red flag has gone out.
4:15 pm: Truex and Cole Custer are now colliding. Custer’s car catches fire and he quickly gets out. Custer slammed into Truex after Truex hit Michael McDowell. Bad scene.
4:14 pm: Ross Chastain, Ryan Preece, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott are currently your top 5. Preece walks past Chastain and he takes off.
4:13 pm: We finally have a restart on lap 25 and there are still serious visibility problems in the middle of the field. The track is soaked.
4:02 pm: On lap 22 you are still cautious and have a lot of vision problems.
3:50 pm: Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace all leave with great damage. Unclear if they were involved in the same wreck, but not great.
Lots of problems in different places at COTA!
Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace, Christopher Bell, and Ryan Blaney were all involved. pic.twitter.com/WnPdlcwvVj
– FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 23, 2021
3:47 pm: Get ready to restart here soon and the pace car will lead the pack into the second leg.
3:33 p.m. End of stage 1: Joey Logano does a wet and wild phase 1: Lots of slides, some damage and lots and lots of water.
3:32 pm: Cars that use the additional lane off the track, but without success. The track is very slippery. William Byron pits and has badly damaged his front right fender.
3:30 a.m. The weather is now getting very rough, many cars miss corners and drive off the track, Denny Hamlin is the latest victim. Michael McDowell at the top, slim lead ahead of Joey Logano.
3:13 pm: Daniel Suarez has problems leaving neutrality and brings the first warning flag to light that day.
3:09 pm: After Cindric Pits, Truex takes the lead. It was an impressive performance by Cindric early on on slippery tires and he dropped to seventh place after the pit stop.
3:04 pm: Austin Cindric is just cooking the field behind him and he’s on slicks. Opened an eight second lead over Martin Truex. Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. round out the top 5.
2:55 pm: It’s raining and many drivers are getting rain tires.
2:52 pm: Green flag and we’re in Texas. Austin Cindric takes the lead early.
2:48 pm: Many teams come in to switch their tires from wet to slicks at an early stage, just as it is starting to rain. Difficult decisions for going up and down the pit lane.
2:41 pm: NASCAR thought this was a rainy race, so everyone started with their rain tires. You have the option of switching to slicks on your second pass through the pit lane.
2:24 pm: Expect a wet track for NASCAR’s first foray into the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas today. Rain is forecast for the rest of the day.
NASCAR start time today
The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the Circuit of the Americas, a street circuit about 15 miles southeast of Austin, Texas, is slated to wave after 2:30 p.m. ET.
Drivers can race in difficult weather conditions. The National Weather Service’s forecast for the Austin area predicts afternoon showers and thunderstorms, as well as high temperatures in the upper 1970s. According to the weather service, there is a 70 percent probability of precipitation.
NASCAR starting grid at COTA
Here is the full qualifying order for the EchoPark Texas GrandPrix after qualifying on Sunday morning:
|Start pos.||driver||Car no.||time||team|
|1||Tyler Reddick||8th||2: 12.911||Richard Childress Racing|
|2||Kyle Larson||5||2: 13.011||Hendrick Motorsports|
|3||Austin Cindric||33||2: 13.697||Team Penske|
|4th||Kyle Busch||18th||2: 13.708||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5||William Byron||24||2: 13.760||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6th||Joey Logano||22nd||2: 13.791||Team Penske|
|7th||AJ Allmendinger||16||2: 13.842||Cheeky Racing|
|8th||Chase Elliott||9||2: 14.117||Hendrick Motorsports|
|9||Ryan Blaney||12th||2: 14.518||Team Penske|
|10||Christopher Bell||20th||2: 14.548||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Kevin Harvick||4th||2: 14.792||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|12th||Alex Bowman||48||2: 14.894||Hendrick Motorsports|
|13th||Kurt Busch||1||2: 14,708||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|14th||Cole Custer||41||2: 15.025||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|fifteen||Daniel Suarez||99||2: 15.118||Trackhouse Racing Team|
|16||Austin Dillon||3||2: 15.325||Richard Childress Racing|
|17th||Martin Truex Jr.||17th||2: 15.375||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|18th||Bubba Wallace||23||2: 15.416||23XI Racing|
|19th||Denny Hamlin||11||2: 15.528||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|20th||Ross Chastain||42||2: 15.685||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|21||Matt DiBenedetto||21||2: 15.852||Wood Brothers Racing|
|22nd||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||2: 15.852||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|23||Michael McDowell||34||2: 15.902||Motorsport in the front row|
|24||Brad Keselowski||2||2: 15.929||Team Penske|
|25th||Corey LaJoie||7th||2: 16.245||Spire Motorsports|
|26th||Aric Almirola||10||2: 16.558||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|27||Chase Briscoe||14th||2: 16.686||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|28||Chris Buescher||17th||2: 16.728||Roush Fenway Racing|
|29||Erik Jones||43||2: 17.032||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|30th||Justin Haley||77||2: 17.051||Spire Motorsports|
|31||Josh Bilicki||52||2: 17.246||Rick Ware Racing|
|32||James Davison||fifteen||2: 17.563||Rick Ware Racing|
|33||Ty Dillon||96||2: 17.682||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|34||Ryan Newman||6th||2: 18.067||Roush Fenway Racing|
|35||Cody ware||51||2: 18.194||Petty Ware Racing|
|36||Ryan Preece||37||2: 18.252||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|37||Anthony Alfredo||38||2: 18,701||Motorsport in the front row|
|38||Garrett Smithley||53||2: 18.804||Rick Ware Racing|
|39||Kyle Tilley||78||2: 20.361||Live motorsport fast|
|40||Quin Houff||00||2: 20.985||StarCom Racing|