FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway delayed after downpour
BROOKLYN — The skies opened up and poured down on Michigan International Speedway just 30 minutes before the FireKeepers Casino 400 was scheduled to begin.
Race officials had moved the start time from 3:17 p.m. to 3:01 earlier in the day because of the rain in the forecast, but the race is now in jeopardy.
“Thunderstorm & lightning are forecast for the Michigan International Speedway area,” the track's Twitter page wrote. “We advise you to secure items at campsites. Please take necessary precautions.
"We are planning to complete the event today.”
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Meteorologists at MIS tell the Free Press there are a few factors working to the track's advantage — the immense heat earlier in the day should help the track dry quicker than usual, though it will still likely take 60 to 90 minutes to get race-ready.
Additionally, because of the power of the first storm, there is less energy in the air and thus any following cells shouldn't have the same power and are more likely to disperse.
"We didn't want the rain shower at all," Michigan native Brad Keslowski said to NBC's NASCAR reporters. "We want the sun to come back out and bake it."
Sunset is scheduled for 8:48 p.m. Sunday, and in order to start Sunday, officials need to be confident they can get the race in before it gets dark.
Contact Tony Garcia at a[email protected]. Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.