NASCAR forced to end Chicago Xfinity Series race after heavy rain

NASCAR forced to end Chicago Xfinity Series race after heavy rain

Cole Custer was named the winner after heavy downpours prevented the inaugural Xfinity Series race on the Chicago street course from proceeding on Sunday.

Saturday’s Xfinity Series race was the first to be held on a makeshift street track as NASCAR brought its July 4 weekend races to Chicago. However, only 26 of the 55 scheduled laps of the race were completed before it was stopped due to severe thunderstorms and heavy rain.

The race was supposed to resume on Sunday morning, but owing to to the constant downpours, NASCAR was unable to successfully do so. According to NASCAR regulations races must reach the halfway point or the end of the second stage to be officially considered as successful.

A NASCAR statement said: “With standing water and flooding a significant issue at the race track and throughout the city, there was no option to return to racing prior to shifting to NASCAR Cup Series race operations.”

“Throughout the entire planning process for the Chicago street race, our relationship with the city of Chicago has been strong and among the most valuable assets in reaching this historic weekend.

“In the spirit of that partnership, returning on Monday for the completion of NASCAR Xfinity Series two laps short of halfway was an option we chose not to employ.

“Based on several unprecedented circumstances, NASCAR has made the decision to declare Cole Custer the winner of the race.”

The Cup Series race on Sunday had been scheduled to start on NBC shortly after 4 p.m. CT. but owing to the possibility of rain, the race had to be moved up as the rain was predicted to drop off as the day goes on. 

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The Chicago regulations limited NASCAR’s decision significantly. Grant Park is home to the Chicago street course and according to Chicago regulations, parks must be evacuated in the event of lightning. Considering that, NASCAR decided not to continue the race on Saturday night in the absence of spectators and postponed it until Sunday.

The NASCAR race weekend’s Chainsmokers event was also postponed to Sunday, while a 46-year-old man who was not identified was issued three tickets for driving on the track late on Saturday.

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