NASCAR Cup teams raced just 42 laps Saturday night after a rain delay that lasted more than an hour and before the skies opened up again at Martinsville Speedway. The remainder of the Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 has been postponed to Sunday at 4 p.m. on FS1.
Rain hit the half-mile paperclip hours before the race’s originally scheduled green flag start at 8 p.m. A window opened when rain held off and the track was dry enough to race, but after the green flag waved an hour and 25 minutes later, the red flag was thrown for more wet weather just before 10 p.m.
“NASCAR just can’t catch a break,” Hamlin, the race leader, said of the frequent rain delays on FS1. “Appreciate them sticking it out. At least getting some laps in.”
The Cup Series race will follow the remainder of the Xfinity race, which is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. on FS1.
Hamlin in the lead
Hamlin led 38 of the 42 laps completed Saturday. He will restart the 500-lap race in the lead, followed by Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, William Byron, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson in the top 10.
The Xfinity Series race at Martinsville was also rescheduled Friday after rain forced a red flag during the second stage. The Cook Out 250 will resume with 29 laps remaining in that stage. Brandon Jones was leading the field when the race was red-flagged on Lap 91 of 250 total laps.
NASCAR will hopefully see brighter skies Sunday. There is a 30 percent chance of showers in the forecast, mainly before 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. But sun and a high near 74 degrees is also projected, leaving NASCAR with a better weather outlook for racing a day later than planned.
The Cup Series’ most recent event prior to this weekend — on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway — was also impacted due to weather when torrential flooding at the track in Bristol, Tennessee, forced NASCAR to postpone the planned Sunday race to a Monday two weeks ago.
Restart order for NASCAR race at Martinsville
Martin Truex Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.