FORT WORTH, Texas — On a day when the weather was more suitable for ducks than racing, the Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway became NASCAR’s first rainout of the season.
The Robertson family from Duck Dynasty had prominent roles at Sunday’s race, called the Duck Commander 500, but Uncle Si never got to give the command to start engines. NASCAR pulled the plug after a delay of about four hours.
The race will be run at noon EDT today, nine hours before the start of the NCAA national championship game in nearby Arlington.
Tony Stewart, making a comeback this season after missing the final four months of last year with a broken leg, will start on the pole.
It’s the third time in seven Sprint Cup races this season that rain has hampered the event. The season-opening Daytona 500 was stopped for more than six hours, and the race at Bristol Motor Speedway had two delays totaling more than five hours.
A steady rain saturated the track Sunday. NASCAR’s new track drying system requires two hours to dry the 1.5-mile speedway, but cool temperatures made the task more difficult.
The speedway’s big screen “Big Hoss TV” alerted fans to pending severe weather at times Sunday. The high-definition LED video board also showed episodes of Duck Dynasty.
Earlier Sunday, an official from Guinness Book of World Records officially certified “Big Hoss TV” as the world’s largest high-definition LED video board. It is 218 feet wide and about 95 feet high, covering 20,614 square feet.
FORMULA ONE: In Sakhir, Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton edged Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg after an intense race-long duel to take victory by just one second at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The two Mercedes cars were predictably in a different league to their rivals and recorded their second one-two finish in eight days after Hamilton’s victory last weekend in Malaysia.
With no team orders, the two were allowed to race for the lead and there were several close calls when the pair came inches away from colliding, providing a thrilling spectacle under the lights at the Bahrain International Circuit.
“It was very, very fair and it was very hard to keep him behind,” Hamilton said. “He was very fast on the option tires and I was on the knife-edge the whole time. ... Me and Nico haven’t had a race like that since back in our karting days. In our first (karting) race, he led all day and I overtook him on the last lap and won, and I thought for sure he is going to do that to me today.”
Force India’s Sergio Perez was third. Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, getting the better of his Red Bull teammate and defending four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, who finished sixth.
• Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone says a U.S.-backed team led by NASCAR’s Gene Haas is among two new teams likely to join the series next season.
“They will be accepted, and we’ve also accepted another team as well, although whether they’ll make it or not is another story,” Ecclestone said when asked about a possible Haas entry.
The other 2015 bidder is believed to be an Eastern Europe-based entry backed by Colin Kolles, who formerly was at defunct teams HRT, Midland and Spyker.