UPDATE (9:55 p.m. ET) — The drivers have been given the command to restart their engines. Hope you all have put some coffee on for the night-time conclusion of Race 1 of the 2013 Chase.
UPDATE (9:40 p.m. ET) — More good news: Drivers are now being called to their cars and the crews have now returned to the pits.
UPDATE (9:25 p.m. ET) — NASCAR has called its inspectors to the cars on pit road. Teams are now being allowed to hook up generators to their respective cars, which are losing their covers as well.
UPDATE (8:23 p.m. ET) — NASCAR senior vice president Steve O’Donnell has Tweeted the following: “Dry strip coming in on track. Looking like 9 central at this point.” Let’s hope his prediction comes true and we can get back to business tonight.
UPDATE (8:10 p.m. ET) — Track drying continues at the Chicagoland Speedway, where the GEICO 400 – the opening race in the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup – remains under a red flag after 110 of 267 laps run.
According to a report from the Motor Racing Network, the rain has eased up at the 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Illinois but a light mist still remains. However, that has not managed to stop the jet dryers from making their rounds in a bid to get the track back.
At Lap 107, the yellow flag came out when rain returned to the track after the start of the race had been delayed for more than an hour. When the red flag came out at Lap 110, Matt Kenseth, the Chase’s top seed, was leading, with Brad Keselowski in second, pole sitter Joey Logano in third, Jimmie Johnson in fourth, and Kyle Busch in fifth.
In case you need a catch-up on the race so far, here’s a recap up to the red flag. I’ll pass along any updates on the track conditions as soon as I get them.
Valtteri Bottas is confident of scoring a good result in tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix after qualifying third at the Sochi Autodrom on Saturday.
Bottas finished as the ‘best of the rest’ in Q3 behind the leading Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, beating the Ferrari drivers to secure P3 for the start of tomorrow’s race.
After a difficult run of form, Bottas believes that he can capitalize on this good qualifying result and make the most of the Williams car’s suitability to the track in Sochi.
“It was a strong job by the team today,” Bottas said. “We managed to set-up the car well and maximize our performance.
“I felt very good in the car all day and managed to get in a rhythm quickly and put in consistent lap times despite the limited number of laps we had completed in practice.
“Tomorrow is where it really matters but I have put myself in a very good position to capitalize.”
Bottas’ teammate, Felipe Massa, was less impressive in qualifying as a mistake and traffic caused him to drop out in Q2, finishing P15.
“I made a mistake at turn eight in my first timed lap in Q2, and then in my final two attempts I came up against a lot of traffic which lost me a lot of time,” Massa explained.
“On my final run my tires were gone at the rear and that was the end of my chances. It’s a shame and I’m very disappointed, but I have a quick car around here so we need to have a good strategy and use our pace to move up into the points tomorrow.”
The Russian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 6:30am ET on Sunday.
Alexander Rossi claimed his third win in as many GP2 Series rounds in Saturday’s feature race at the Sochi Autodrom.
Since winning the last feature race at Monza in Italy, Rossi has made his Formula 1 debut with Manor and also raced for the team at the iconic Suzuka Circuit in Japan.
As part of his deal with Manor, Rossi has returned to GP2 for this weekend’s round in Russia as he bids to finish as runner-up to impending series champion Stoffel Vandoorne.
Vandoorne was expected to be crowned champion on Saturday, but Rossi managed to delay the Belgian’s celebrations by storming to victory as darkness forced officials to shorten the race.
Carnage on the first lap saw four drivers retire from the race, with damage caused to the barrier at turn 3 by Jordan King resulted in a 30 minute red flag delay.
Once the race restarted, a shortened distance of 15 laps was confirmed, but full points were still to be awarded.
Pole-sitter Alex Lynn managed to pull clear through the first stint, and after falling behind Rossi in the first round of pit stops, the DAMS driver regained the advantage soon after.
However, when Lynn crashed out, Rossi was able to pull clear of the chasing Pierre Gasly and Vandoorne just behind to record his third win in as many race weekends by three seconds.
Rossi will start tomorrow’s sprint race from eighth place on the grid which is reversed, handing pole to Frenchman Arthur Pic who finished P8 on Saturday.
You will be able to read all about Alexander’s success in his exclusive NBC Sports blog on Wednesday. To read his pre-Sochi thoughts, click here.