Steady rain and high winds made a mess of the NASCAR Cup Series inaugural debut at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). There is a 70% chance of rain for Sunday’s race.
“The rain is another new twist, and it’s one I’m not very good at, to be honest. I don’t feel very good at it, at least,” Chase Elliott told reporters. “It completely changes everything you know about the course and what you do.”
“It’s hard in our cars without brake lights, without headlights and with a windshield wiper that starts fluttering at about 100 mph,” Chris Buescher told reporters. “You’re driving in a downpour with no lights on. Can’t tell where you’re at, can’t tell when you need to brake. If it’s a minimal rain, at least we’ll have a chance.”
William Byron (#24) recorded the fastest lap time of 77.847 mph in the wet conditions. Joey Logano (#22) and Kyle Larson (#5) followed with times of 77.558 and 77.467 mph, respectively. Kyle Busch (#18) and Chase Elliot (#9) rounded out the top five with times of 77.383 and 77.252 mph.