Well, it’s not just you—the entire nation has woken up feeling a little under the weather, and Texas Motor Speedway (known colloquially as ‘‘Turns’’) is no exception. Severe weather during the final preparations for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) Ford EcoBoost 400 on April 17 caused extensive damage, delaying the start of the Monster Energy Series (MES) race by almost three hours. This, of course, resulted in the postponement of the race, which was eventually rescheduled to go green at 7 p.m. on Sunday night.
Just to recap: during severe thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon, April 17, 2019, the grandstands at Texas Motor Speedway were heavily damaged. According to reports, at least six feet of wall was blown out at one point, severely undermining the structural integrity of the buildings. The roof of one of the grandstands was also reported to have been damaged. It’s unclear at this time whether this will affect the structural integrity of that grandstand. Fortunately, nobody was injured during the storms.
The Rescheduled Race
Once the safety of the fans and competitors was assured, NASCAR made the decision to reschedule the race to a later date. The newly-minted ‘‘Coveted Championship’’ trophy was officially presented to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion during a rescheduled ceremony on April 23. The race was ultimately rescheduled for Sunday, April 24 at 7 p.m. CT.
The Damage And Rescheduled Race Impact
It’s quite the story, and one that’s sure to have a lasting impact on the entire racing community. The first and most obvious impact is the structural damage to the buildings at Texas Motor Speedway. It would be quite the task to get everything repaired, and it’s quite possible that some areas may have to be razed and rebuilt completely. While the track is indeed ready to race, it will be three weeks before we see cars lining up for the first MES race in Texas.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, is the impact that the damage at Texas Motor Speedway had on the schedule. The already crowded 2020 NASCAR schedule is going to look quite a bit different than normal next year. After all, the last thing anyone wants to see happen is an entire season to be pushed back because of weather issues. It would be incredibly frustrating for fans who had planned on seeing their favorite teams compete, and it could also be problematic for sponsors who had planned on attending the races. The damage at Texas Motor Speedway caused the cancellation and postponement of at least two other NASCAR races: the Clash at the Cove in Pensacola, Florida, on April 24 and the Kroger Super Saver 400 in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 8. The damage and rescheduling of those two races cost the NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) and NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) millions of dollars in revenue.
The final consequence of the damage at Texas Motor Speedway is quite simply that it made things very difficult for the crews and teams working to put on the best show possible for the fans. The track had to be cleared of debris, the damaged areas cleaned, and several thousand extra pounds of paint had to be bought just to make sure the freshly-painted surface was flawless. Needless to say, it was quite the busy weekend for the teams and crews working at Texas Motor Speedway.
Wondering What To Watch During The Rescheduled Race?
With the damage at Texas Motor Speedway behind us, we can now turn our attention to the sport’s biggest stage. The rescheduled race will be a part of the ‘‘Coveted Championship’’ tour that will feature the top four drivers from each of the four major NASCAR divisions—the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, and the NASCAR Ganderbilt Cup Series—competing for the prestigious title. Teams will be traveling to Texas from all over the country, so there’s bound to be some awesome racing to watch.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Is On Versus
The biggest news of the day is that the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race has been set for Sunday, April 24 at 7 p.m. CT on NBC. The entire weekend of April 24 will be dedicated to the ‘‘Coveted Championship’’ tour. The qualifying race will be held on Saturday, April 23, and the championship race on Sunday, April 24. Jeff Gordon will be defending his title, and this will mark his first trip back to Texas since 2014.
The defending champion will be challenging for the crown again this year, as 2019 was a breakout season for multiple drivers. Chase Elliott won six races including the Cup Series championship, Kevin Harvick won five, and Justin Allgaier won four. While the stars aligned for those three men, it is Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Matt Kenseth who will be looking to capture the title that probably best suits him: the NASCAR Grand National (CNS) championship. Kenseth has won 11 races this year, including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. With only five races left in the season, it’s quite possible that he’ll add yet another championship to his collection.