The final race of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season has been postponed by rain to an old-school time: Sunday morning at Daytona International Speedway.
Originally scheduled to be run Saturday night, persistent rain forced NASCAR to move the finale to Sunday at 10 a.m. ET (CNBC, Peacock). It’s a throwback to Daytona’s first few decades when the track would play host to a race on the July 4 holiday that started at 10 a.m. (allowing teams and drivers to be on the beach).
The track’s summer race shifted to Saturday nights after lights were installed in 1998, and it was moved to late August two years ago as the regular-season finale that sets the 16-driver playoff grid.
Among matters to be determined in Sunday’s race are the final two spots in the Cup playoffs. Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. control those positions entering the race, and at least one of them will make the playoffs on points. Both will advance on points if there is not a new winner Sunday.
Fifteen drivers have won races during the regular season, but 23XI Racing and Kurt Busch declined to use the waiver that would have put him in the playoffs. He continues to recover from concussion-like symptoms following a crash at Pocono Raceway last month.
Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Daytona International Speedway
(All times Eastern)
START: The CNBC broadcast will begin at 10 a.m. ET, the green flag is at 10:05 a.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 160 laps (400 miles) on the 2.5-mile oval.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 35. Stage 2 ends at Lap 95.
STARTING LINEUP: Daytona Cup starting lineup
TV/RADIO: CNBC and Peacock will broadcast the race at 10 a.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 10 a.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.
STREAMING: NBCsports.com and Peacock
FORECAST: According to wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 81 degrees with a 51% chance of rain at the green flag.
LAST YEAR: Ryan Blaney led seven laps and won last year’s race. Following in the top five were Bubba Wallace, Ryan Newman, Ryan Preece and Tyler Reddick.
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