FORT WORTH — NASCAR's Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup kicked off Monday morning after rain delayed the race that was originally scheduled to take place Sunday.
The only action NASCAR fans saw on the track Sunday were laps being turned in by jet dryers and moisture removal equipment.
Still they weren't about to give up. The pre-race concert was canceled. Drivers were introduced about an hour after the race was scheduled to start.
After that, the waiting game started.
"Oh just 'hurry up and wait' is what it ends up being,” said NASCAR driver Greg Biffle. “Hopefully the weather gets out of here and gets it dry in a couple of hours and get going.”
“Oh we'll get this in, eventually,” said Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage. “I don't know. Do I look like Pete Delkus? He told me it was going to be fine today.”
The wet and cold conditions weren't suitable for a NASCAR race, but the name of the race — the Duck Commander 500 — certainly fit the day.
“Hey we're duck hunters, so this ain't nothing to us,” said Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander and star of the "Duck Dynasty" reality series. “This feels like a nice day in the duck blind.”
NASCAR waited four hours and 10 minutes before moving the race to Monday. The high humidity and misty conditions simply would not let their equipment get the track dry enough.
“Well its unfortunate,” said NASCAR president Mike Helton. “It’s a no-win deal when you have weather like this at a racetrack. We need the track to be dry. It just wasn't in the stars today, but we tried and were making headway, and then this last rain got us in position with the cool and damp air to where it wasn't fair to have everybody sit around for another three or four hours.”
"We've had a great week of weather, and then Mother Nature... I don't know,” Gossage said. “If you're a farmer, I guess you need to bid on getting a NASCAR race in town, because you can guarantee rain this year.”
The delay meant the teams and their crew members would have to stay in town an extra day.
"It's just tough," said Darian Grubb, crew chief for Denny Hamlin. "The guys would normally go back to the shop and we'd be working tomorrow getting ready for next week’s race, so the guys at the shop will have to pull a little more load this week."
“I hope everybody can stay until tomorrow, but I understand it'll be a challenge for some, so it’s just sad,” said Michael Waltrip, owner of Michael Waltrip racing. “It makes me want to hug 'em for coming and being a part of all this, and then sorry they're going to have to miss it.”
Since Texas Motor Speedway opened in 1997, there have been 26 races held here; only two have been delayed until Monday. This will be the third.