Every once in a while something odd will stop NASCAR track activity.
On Friday, it was either the bravest or dumbest owl in the world.
In the middle of the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Auto Club Speedway, the session was red flagged to remove the owl from the track surface.
The owl sat near the middle of the track on the fronstretch, not far from the exit to pit road, as cars sped by at full speed in the top groove.
The bird eventually took flight as track workers attempted to corral it.
This isn’t the first time an animal has been gotten in the way at a NASCAR track. Last year at Michigan International Speedway, a groundhog forced a pause in the middle of Xfinity Series practice. Track workers valiantly caught the animal … until it got away.
Last August, the Camping World Truck Series fell victim to another furry friend. A rabbit somehow found its way inside Bristol Motor Speedway and forced the red flag to come out during a practice session.
Last years’ Cup weekend at Sonoma Raceway had an animal encounter that ended tragically. During a practice session, Kyle Busch was unable to avoid a jackrabbit that ran in front of his No. 18 car.
UPDATE: Another critter has struck the NASCAR circuit. On June 10 of this year, a fox brought Xfinity Series qualifying to a standstill at Pocono Raceway.