Rain Brings Out Red Flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Getty Kyle Busch (right) starts from the pole at New Hampshire.

The NASCAR Cup Series drivers headed out onto New Hampshire Motor Speedway for 301 laps around the 1.058-mile oval. However, the race came to a stop after fewer than 10 laps. Rain began falling and brought out the red flag.

The issues began when multiple drivers said over the radio that the track was wet and that they saw rain. The race continued until three members of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable spun out. Kyle Busch, the leader at the time, slammed into the wall and destroyed the rear of the No. 18 Toyota Camry.

Martin Truex Jr. also collided with the wall and suffered damage to the driver’s side of the No. 19 Toyota Camry. Denny Hamlin, however, avoided hitting the wall after the No. 11 Toyota Camry spun entering Turn 1. The officials waved the caution flag and sent the drivers to pit road before putting the race under red flag conditions.

JGR Drivers Had Strong Words About NASCAR’s Decisions

Following the wreck and the red flag, the three JGR drivers that spun met with media members to reflect on the situation. They all made very pointed comments about NASCAR and the decision-making that led to starting the race.

“We’d been talking about it for two laps. It was raining,” Busch told NBC Sports before pausing to consider his next sentence. “No sense in saying what I want to say. It doesn’t do you any good.” Busch then confirmed that the No. 18 would not continue for the remainder of the race.

While he didn’t make as strong of comments about NASCAR as he could have, Busch chose to showcase his displeasure in different ways. The NBC Sports broadcast showed him driving up behind the pace car on caution laps and purposely bumping it multiple times. A race fan also captured a photo of Busch giving the middle finger to an unseen person.

Truex, on the other hand, spoke to PRN and said that he had been talking about the rain over the radio. The 2017 Cup Series champion said that he “was screaming” that it was wet a lap before the wreck. However, the race continued and led to him spinning and hitting the wall.

The Rain Did Not Last at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

The rain brought the race to a stunning halt and forced NASCAR officials to wave the red flag, but the precipitation did not last long. The skies partially cleared as the various drivers conducted interviews, prompting the track officials to fuel up the jet dryers and send them out onto the oval.

Seeing the massive jet driers out on the track created optimism among racing fans, but they did not fully express excitement. The reason is that the drying process takes between 45-75 minutes. This amount of time meant that the rain could potentially return and erase all of the dryers’ progress.

The other concern with the amount of drying time is that New Hampshire Motor Speedway is one of the NASCAR tracks that does not have lights. If the drivers could not reach the halfway point of the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 before sunset, they would have to wait until Monday.

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