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Rain delays Tuesday resumption of Cup Series Playoff race at Texas

Continuing rain delayed Tuesday’s attempts at resuming the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race from Texas Motor Speedway on hold, but track-drying efforts gave hope to a Tuesday evening restart. Officials have set a tentative time to roll cars back onto pit road to grid at 8 p.m. ET with hopes of firing the engines at 8:30 p.m. ET.

RELATED: Full leaderboard | Weather: Forecast, officials’ radio

The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 began Sunday, with drivers completing 52 of 334 laps before a light mist and drizzle escalated, forcing the event to be red-flagged. Nagging rain washed out Monday’s attempts to continue the race, pushing it to a Tuesday, noon ET restart time (on NBCSN). But that proposed schedule has been thwarted by the third straight day of inclement weather at the 1.5-mile Fort Worth track.

The track-drying process had begun shortly after the scheduled restart time, but by 2 p.m. ET, the mist and light rain had intensified, temporarily halting those efforts. Officials made more progress in the 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET hours, renewing hope of a restart on a chilly Tuesday evening.

Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford is first on the scoring pylon. He is followed by another driver in his final full Cup Series season, Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

The 501-miler is the second of three events in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8, which will determine the final four drivers who will race for the title Nov. 8 at Phoenix Raceway. The Championship 4 field will be set after the Round of 8 finale, scheduled Sunday (2 p.m. ET) at Martinsville Speedway. Only Joey Logano has clinched a Championship 4 berth, thanks to his victory in the round opener Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway.

Stage 1 is scheduled to end on Lap 105 with Stage 2 to end on Lap 210. The race would be ruled an official event at the halfway point (Lap 167).