Rain ends, Sunday Cup race at Pocono back underway

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UPDATE 3: 

The rain has stopped and the NASCAR Cup race at Pocono Raceway is back underway.

The rain delay lasted 51 minutes under red flag stoppage conditions and an additional 12 minutes under yellow caution before the green flag waved again.

Kurt Busch has led the first six laps of the scheduled 140-lap race before it was paused due to rain falling, primarily in turns 2 and 3.

Ryan Blaney is second, followed by Cole Custer, Chris Buescher and Austin Dillon.

UPDATE 2: 

Rain has begun to fall at Pocono Raceway and has brought out a red flag race stoppage for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup event.

The race has run just six laps into the scheduled 140 laps. The red flag came out at 5:12 p.m. ET. Drivers have exited their cars and covers have been placed atop the cars. Pocono Raceway does not have lights.

Kurt Busch has led all six laps, the first Chevrolet driver to lead even one lap both Sunday as well as Saturday’s front half of the first Cup doubleheader weekend at the same track in the modern era.

UPDATE 1:

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Pocono Raceway — the back half of the first modern-day Cup weekend doubleheader at the same racetrack — is underway.

The start of the race had been delayed by more than 30 minutes. Lightning had been detected within eight miles of the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle. NASCAR rules call for a 30-minute delay whenever lightning is detected.

Cars were already on-track for parade laps but were brought back to the pits and drivers exited their vehicles during the delay.

Wunderground.com’s forecast called for a temperature of 75 degrees at the drop of the green flag with a 40 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms, most likely to occur in the evening, which would be after the race.

ORIGINAL STORY:

NASCAR has placed the start of Sunday’s Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on hold due to lightning in the area.

NASCAR has a rule that races are stopped or put on hold if lightning within eight miles of a racetrack. As a result, the race start or restart is on hold for the following 30 minutes, provided weather doesn’t become a further impediment.

After Jimmie Johnson gave the command to start engines (see photo), cars took to the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle and were engaged in pace laps when they were called back to pit road due to the lightning.

Ryan Preece was slated to start on the pole, but he’s been sent to the back of the field due to an engine change (see more below). Kurt Busch and Austin Dillon are now on the front row. Saturday’s race winner, Kevin Harvick, starts 20th after the top 20 finishers from yesterday’s race were inverted for Sunday’s event.

Nine cars have been sent to the back of the field:

Chase Elliott and B.J. McLeod — transmission change

William Byron and Ryan Preece — engine change

Quin Houff, Erik Jones, Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano and Alex Bowman — back-up car

We’ll update you with more information as it becomes available.

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