Circuit of the Americas, the beautiful.
For the first time in NASCAR history, drivers will start their engines at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday. While Formula 1 and Indy Car drivers are used to racing the circuit, this is the first time that NASCAR drivers will take to the road course, one of seven on the slate this year.
Unfortunately, though, there may be a question of whether the weather will get in the way of the race: As it stands, there will be some drizzles, but nothing that drivers can’t handle.
Sunday morning qualifying led the way for Tyler Reddick to take pole position into the afternoon, making the first pole win of his career.
Sporting News will track highlights, updates and more from Sunday’s race below.
All times Eastern.
NASCAR at COTA live updates, highlights from EchoPark Texas Grand Prix
5:09 p.m. End Stage 2: Kyle Busch holds off Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Austin Cindric for the stage win. Messy stage.
4:59 p.m.: We have green flag with four laps to go in Stage 2. Kyle Busch and Austin Cindric battling for first.
4:55 p.m.: The track looks dryer but not dry.
4:49 p.m.: Rain seems to be letting up a bit, and drivers are exiting pit road now.
4:40 p.m.: Drivers are starting up under yellow. Lap 26 now, and they’re coming down pit road.
4:31 p.m. Track crew scraping and drying the track. Just a total mess.
4:18 p.m.: Red flag is out after the Custer-Truex incident.
4:15 p.m.: Truex and Cole Custer collide now. Custer’s car catches fire and he gets out quick. Custer slammed into the back of Truex after Truex hit Michael McDowell. Bad scene.
4:14 p.m.: Ross Chastain, Ryan Preece, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott are your top five right now. Preece passes Chastain and he takes off.
4:13 p.m.: We finally have a restart into lap 25, and there’s serious visibility issues still happening in the middle of the pack. The track is soaked.
4:02 p.m.: Still under caution into lap 22, and there’s lots of vision issues happening.
3:50 p.m.: Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick and Bubba Wallace all exit with major damage. Unclear if they were involved in the same wreck, but not great.
Lots of trouble in different places at COTA!
Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace, Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney all involved. pic.twitter.com/WnPdlcwvVj
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 23, 2021
3:47 p.m.: Getting ready to restart here soon, with the pace car leading the pack into Stage 2.
3:33 p.m. End of Stage 1: Joey Logano takes a wet and wild Stage 1: Plenty of slides, some damage and lots and lots of water.
3:32 p.m.: Cars taking advantage of the extra pavement off the track, but to no avail. Track is very slippery. William Byron heads into the pits with serious damage to his front right fender.
3:30 p.m.: Weather getting really rough now, lots of cars missing turns and heading off track, Denny Hamlin the latest victim. Michael McDowell in the lead, slim lead over Joey Logano.
3:13 p.m.: Daniel Suarez having issues with shifting out of neutral, bringing out the first caution flag on the day.
3:09 p.m.: After Cindric pits, Truex takes the lead. An impressive showing from Cindric early on on slick tires, and he fell to just seventh after the pitstop.
3:04 p.m.: Austin Cindric is cooking the field behind him right now, and he’s on slicks. Opening up an eight second lead over Martin Truex. Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. round out the top five.
2:55 p.m.: Rain comes down, and lots of drivers coming in for rain tires.
2:52 p.m.: Green flag, and we’re off in Texas. Austin Cindric out to an early lead.
2:48 p.m.: Lots of teams coming in to switch their tires from wets to slicks early on, just as rain starts to fall. Tough decisions to make up and down pit road.
2:41 p.m.: NASCAR deemed this a wet-weather race, so everyone starts on their rain tires. They’ll have an opportunity to change to slicks on their second pass through pit road.
2:24 p.m.: Expecting a wet track today for NASCAR’s first foray into Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Rain is in the forecast for the rest of the day.
NASCAR start time today
The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas, a road course about 15 miles southeast of Austin, Texas, is scheduled to wave after 2:30 p.m. ET.
Drivers may find themselves racing in difficult weather conditions. The National Weather Service forecast for the Austin area calls for afternoon showers and thunderstorms and a high temperature in the upper 70s. The weather service says there is a 70 percent chance of precipitation.
NASCAR starting lineup at COTA
Here is the complete qualifying order for the EchoPark Texas GrandPrix after Sunday morning’s qualifying:
|Start pos.||Driver||Car No.||Time||Team|
|1||Tyler Reddick||8||2:12.911||Richard Childress Racing|
|2||Kyle Larson||5||2:13.011||Hendrick Motorsports|
|3||Austin Cindric||33||2:13.697||Team Penske|
|4||Kyle Busch||18||2:13.708||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|5||William Byron||24||2:13.760||Hendrick Motorsports|
|6||Joey Logano||22||2:13.791||Team Penske|
|7||A.J. Allmendinger||16||2:13.842||Kaulig Racing|
|8||Chase Elliott||9||2:14.117||Hendrick Motorsports|
|9||Ryan Blaney||12||2:14.518||Team Penske|
|10||Christopher Bell||20||2:14.548||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Kevin Harvick||4||2:14.792||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|12||Alex Bowman||48||2:14.894||Hendrick Motorsports|
|13||Kurt Busch||1||2:14.708||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|14||Cole Custer||41||2:15.025||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|15||Daniel Suarez||99||2:15.118||Trackhouse Racing Team|
|16||Austin Dillon||3||2:15.325||Richard Childress Racing|
|17||Martin Truex Jr.||17||2:15.375||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|18||Bubba Wallace||23||2:15.416||23XI Racing|
|19||Denny Hamlin||11||2:15.528||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|20||Ross Chastain||42||2:15.685||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|21||Matt DiBenedetto||21||2:15.852||Wood Brothers Racing|
|22||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||2:15.852||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|23||Michael McDowell||34||2:15.902||Front Row Motorsports|
|24||Brad Keselowski||2||2:15.929||Team Penske|
|25||Corey LaJoie||7||2:16.245||Spire Motorsports|
|26||Aric Almirola||10||2:16.558||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|27||Chase Briscoe||14||2:16.686||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|28||Chris Buescher||17||2:16.728||Roush Fenway Racing|
|29||Erik Jones||43||2:17.032||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|30||Justin Haley||77||2:17.051||Spire Motorsports|
|31||Josh Bilicki||52||2:17.246||Rick Ware Racing|
|32||James Davison||15||2:17.563||Rick Ware Racing|
|33||Ty Dillon||96||2:17.682||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|34||Ryan Newman||6||2:18.067||Roush Fenway Racing|
|35||Cody Ware||51||2:18.194||Petty Ware Racing|
|36||Ryan Preece||37||2:18.252||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|37||Anthony Alfredo||38||2:18.701||Front Row Motorsports|
|38||Garrett Smithley||53||2:18.804||Rick Ware Racing|
|39||Kyle Tilley||78||2:20.361||Live Fast Motorsports|
|40||Quin Houff||00||2:20.985||StarCom Racing|