NASCAR at Chicago weather updates: Grant Park 165 halted as heavy rain spills onto Windy City street race

Talk about deja vu.

Those watching this year’s Grant Park 165 were surely looking forward to a more relaxed July 4th weekend affair, one filled with hard racing, plenty of passes, and few memorable moments.

Instead, they were greeted by rain…again. The Cup Series’ second foray into street racing — across the Windy City’s financial district, no less — came to a sudden halt early in the second stage, with the red flag waving after a pair of incidents spotlighted the precarious nature of the course’s rain-filled track.

Alex Bowman and Bubba Wallace made contact with one another, sending the No. 23 car spinning into the wall during the second stage’s opening lap — a collision undoubtedly exacerbated by the water that pooled onto the track.

Shortly thereafter, Chase Briscoe collected defending NASCAR at Chicago champion Shane van Gisbergen as he went into the tire barrier. Van Gisbergen put on a show in the race’s opening stage, taking home the stage victory with relative ease. He won’t have a chance to defend his title this time around.

MORE: Follow for live updates, highlights and more from the rain-soaked Grant Park 220

This isn’t the first time the red flag has come out during a Chicago street race. The same thing happened last year when the Cup Series’ inaugural street race — aptly titled the Grant Park 225 — was delayed due to torrential rain.

It seems that NASCAR’s showy new race site just can’t get any luck

MORE: What time does the NASCAR race start today?

Here’s the latest on the weather threatening today’s race in Chicago (all times are Eastern):

NASCAR at Chicago weather updates

8:03 p.m.: Cars should be good to roll in about seven or so minutes. 80 minutes to find a winner. This race will be shortened due to time constraints.

8:00 p.m.: NASCAR needs 13 more laps to be able to declare a legitimate winner. The race has to be called by 9:20 p.m. ET. Things are going to get tight.

7:49 p.m.: Cars are being covered up once more.

7:42 p.m.: Another heavy cell approaching. Drivers are shutting their engines off for the time being.

7:25 p.m.: Drivers will be returning to their cars in about five minutes. Still uncertain how long it will take to fully dry the track, however.

7:20 p.m.: Rain has been steady in the Windy City for about 45 minutes. Looks like it’s cooling off now, however. NASCAR has put a hard stop of 9:20 p.m. ET (8:20 p.m. local time). Here’s a look at the (complicated) rules that could be invoked if tonight’s race stretches to 9:20 p.m. ET.

6:30 p.m.: Red flag out here in Chicago as a hulking storm system makes its way toward the heart of Chicago’s financial district. It initially seemed as if the delay would persist only until the air tundras were able to clear the track. However, the precipitation has intensified, making our wait that much longer.

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