After Sunday washout, NASCAR is on today’s lunch menu

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Yesterday’s rain-induced postponement of the Duck Commander 500 has made for a mid-day matinee at Texas Motor Speedway. The 334-lap, 501-mile race is set to go off shortly after Noon ET.

From what we’re seeing from reporters at Fort Worth, pre-race ceremonies will be pared down considerably. Per NASCAR, the green flag will drop at 12:09 p.m. ET.

Today’s forecast is looking better, with a reduced chance of rain – about 30 percent – after 2 p.m. local time. Mostly clouds skies are predicted with the temperature reaching the mid-60s.

Tony Stewart earned his 15th career Sprint Cup pole on Saturday and will be joined on the front row by Brad Keselowski. Stewart’s teammate and new track record holder Kevin Harvick starts third, followed by Greg Biffle, who’s always stout at TMS.

Bristol winner Carl Edwards rolls off fifth and next to him is our leading Toyota from Saturday qualifying, Denny Hamlin, in Row 3. Former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and Ryan Newman make up Row 4, while Marcos Ambrose and Joey Logano take the green from Row 5.

Last week’s winner at Martinsville, Kurt Busch, starts on the inside of Row 6. Other notables include Jimmie Johnson in 16th, current points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 19th, and defending race champion Kyle Busch in 29th.

With all of the rubber having been washed off, teams may find the already hyper-fast 1.5-mile oval even quicker for a time before the track starts to “rubber up” again.

Also, keep in mind that teams will have a competition caution at Lap 30 to check on tire wear – which could be a key factor in today’s race.

For those unable to get away from work, we’ll have coverage for you throughout the afternoon here on MotorSportsTalk.

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.