|Justin Haley (11) leads the pack in front of empty stands at the start of a NASCAR Xfinity auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega Ala., Saturday, June 20, 2020. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)|
After lightning, thunderstorms and showers threatened the track and stands, the Geico 500 NASCAR race has been rescheduled.
The race, which was originally scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 21, has been moved to the same time on Monday, June 22. NASCAR made the announcement on Twitter Sunday evening.
Despite the weather concerns, NASCAR attempted to go through with the race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, using Air Titans in an attempt to dry the track before ultimately making the decision to hold the race Monday.
The Talladega Superspeedway posted on Twitter that fans will still be able to enter on Monday with their original ticket. Fans who are not able to attend the new date can visit this website for more information regarding weather protection.
This is not the first time the race had been postponed, either. While it was originally scheduled to take place in April, it ended up being one of eight races this spring to be either postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, USA Today reported.
The Geico 500 is set to be the first NASCAR race open to fans since the start of the pandemic, allowing up to 5,000 guests. Previously, 1,000 South Florida service members were authorized to attend the Dixie Vodka 400 race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
|Drew Dollar (15) passes Ryan Repko (20) to win the NASCAR ARCA auto race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega Ala., Saturday June 20, 2020 (AP Photo/John Bazemore)|
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan DePodwin, the thunderstorm moved into the area about one hour before the race was scheduled to start. The biggest threat the storm brought was lightning, which he said was the initial cause of delay.
"Being in an open area such as a grandstand during a thunderstorm is not a safe place," he said.
Even after the thunderstorm moved away from the track, showers remained in the area keeping the track wet, which is what led to the decision to move the date of the race.
On Monday, however, fans and drivers may not have much better luck. DePodwin said the threat of thunderstorms will remain on Monday and a second delay or reschedule is possible.
"Fans attending should keep an eye to the sky and radar, as well as drink plenty of fluids with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures climbing into the 90s," DePodwin said.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.