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Rain has stopped; Food City 500 In Support Of Steve Byrnes is underway

bristol1 ap 2015 rain

Although the start of Sunday’s Food City 500 In Support Of Steve Byrnes NASCAR Sprint Cup race was delayed by rain, a window of clear weather has opened and the race is under way -- for now.

Ella and Leo Gordon, the children of NASCAR Sprint Cup four-time champ Jeff Gordon and wife Ingrid, gave the command to start engines.

Radar shows another large front of rain about 30 minutes away from Bristol Motor Speedway, but NASCAR will attempt to get in as many race laps under green flag conditions. The race-time temperature is 64 degrees, the start of the race was delayed by about 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Because BMS is in Eastern Tennessee, there’s always the possibility that the mountains that surround the area could break up the next rain front. Time will tell.

The rain has affected eastern Tennessee, the northern part of North Carolina and south and southeastern Virginia. Rain was so hard earlier in the morning that there has been localized flooding in Tennessee and Virginia, although it is not affecting the immediate area around BMS.

Forecasts from says there is a 100 percent chance of thunderstorms for this afternoon, dropping to 80 percent chance this evening. If today’s race action is delayed again by rain and the event is pushed back to Monday, the forecast right now calls for a 50 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms.

With rain having slowed to a drizzle at 1:15 pm ET, track dryers began slowly moving around the half-mile bullring to begin sopping up as much rain on the racing surface and on pit road as possible.

Follow @JerryBonkowski