Anyone up for a Sunday NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series doubleheader?
After the Xfinity Series’ Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway was postponed from Friday to Sunday due to rain, the Cup Series’ Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 on Saturday night suffered the same fate. While the Xfinity race lasted 91 of 250 laps before the rain hit, the Cup event only made it 41 of 500.
The Friday postponement prompted much concern from NASCAR for the Saturday race, especially when the intended 8 PM Eastern start was delayed. In the meantime, Daniel Suárez, Tyler Reddick, Corey LaJoie, Justin Haley, and James Davison were sent to the rear with all but Reddick and Suárez failing pre-race inspection multiple times. Suárez lost ten points in the standings and crew chief Travis Mack as his car had ballasts installed outside of the approved container; Jose Blasco-Figueroa took over as interim crew chief for the second time, the first coming at Atlanta when Mack was suspended due to a lug nut violation. Reddick was ordered to drop back for unapproved adjustments.
When a brief window opened at 9 PM, NASCAR took advantage to start the race, though multiple pace laps were run as jet dryers worked to dry pit road. The race finally began with Joey Logano leading the field to green, though Denny Hamlin took the spot on lap four. William Byron moved up to second four laps later, spending twenty laps chasing Hamlin before beginning a free fall down the running order.
Almost as if Mother Nature was waiting for an incident to occur to make her move, Davison was turned by Rick Ware Racing team-mate Cody Ware on lap 37 to bring out a caution, which was downgraded to a red flag due to rain. Approximately forty minutes later, NASCAR called the race and pushed it to Sunday at 4 PM Eastern.
The Xfinity race will be at noon.