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.