NASCAR race at Phoenix begins under lights after rain delay

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) NASCAR's final race before the championship finale began after a rain delay Sunday that pushed the start at Phoenix International Raceway into the evening.

The race was scheduled for early Sunday afternoon, but a rain shower shortly before the start spoiled the day. When it finally stopped raining, the race began 6 hours, 42 minutes later and under the lights at Phoenix.

NASCAR doesn't have much flexibility because it needs its championship field set so the series can move on to Homestead-Miami Speedway for next Sunday's finale. Four drivers will race for the title next week, and only Jeff Gordon had earned a berth. Seven drivers were jockeying for the final three slots at Phoenix.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.