For better or for worse, NASCAR decided to pack Bristol Motor Speedway with red clay and have their drivers race around the half-mile facility dubbed "The Last Great Colosseum." While the idea seemed brilliant on paper, especially with the sport desperate to return to its roots, it also presented them with a lot of problems.
One of them was rain. The heavens opened up on Saturday, and the heavy stock cars threw up copius quantities of mud, which caked the grills and windshields of the Camping World Truck Series drivers that had just taken to the track.
What are NASCAR's options now?
Unfortunately for NASCAR, the rain deteriorated the track conditions to such an extent that they were forced to cancel Saturday evening's qualifying heat races. They also rescheduled the Truck race to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 28, which could make for an interesting event were it not for that day's weather forecast for Bristol, which predicts a 50% chance of rain between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., 37% at 4 p.m. and less than 10% by 7 p.m.
With any luck, NASCAR could start working on the track at around 4 p.m. on Sunday and possibly delay the starting time for the Cup Series. They could then move the Truck Series to Monday, when rain isn't expected to be a factor.
The other alternative for NASCAR is to hold off on both races until Monday, and just run them in the evening. That way, they can enjoy a prime time spot for their biggest experiment in years, and longtime fans can watch the action after work.
NASCAR being able to get the race in on Sunday depends on a lot of factors outside their control, which isn't a great position to be in. It's also disheartening for a fan base that has been disappointed on more than one occasion. While NASCAR can't control the weather, they absolutely had a choice in what kind of clay was used. They also had a say in the cars they used, but evidently failed to come up with something capable of racing on dirt.