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NBC’s tight NFL window will delay the race due to rain


Sunday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway has been delayed due to rain and NBC has a tight television window for the crucial NASCAR race due to the evening broadcast of Tom Brady’s return to New England.

Talladega, Ala. – Sunday’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway has been delayed due to rain and NBC has a tight television window for NASCAR’s crucial race due to the evening broadcast of Tom Brady’s New England return.

Talladega marks the mid-race of the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs, with the hybrid road course/oval scheduled as next week’s elimination race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The field of 12 playoff drivers at The Roval would be narrowed to eight, and only Talladega pole-seater Denny Hamlin has already earned a berth in the third round.

Drivers are pushing ahead with Sunday’s race because of the unpredictability of the 2.66-mile superspeedway and the risks of packed racing. The Truck Series race and Xfinity Series race doubleheader both crashed on Saturday and were won by non-playoff drivers.

Cup drivers don’t want the same aggressive racing as one wrong move could trigger a championship-ruining wreck.

“I’m going to race a Superspeedway below the cutoff line, so it’s definitely a stressful weekend,” Alex Bowman, 11th out of 12 drivers, said ahead of Sunday’s race. “We’re going to win, aren’t we? That’s our game plan.”

NASCAR and NBC were in early discussions on Sunday about how to defuse the crowded atmosphere, with audiences in Talladega on Saturday chanting a slur directed at President Joe Biden, which was picked up on the air during an interview with winner Brandon Brown.

The race winner usually stops at the frontstretch to collect the checkered flag and then does a live interview. Chanters on Saturday in Talladega, where a convoy of trucks and motorcycles waved Confederate flags as they paraded past the main entrance on Speedway Blvd., could be heard interviewing Brown.

What was being discussed was to move the interviewees away from the grandstand fence in an effort to reduce ambient noise.

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More AP Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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