NASCAR fans were excited on Saturday morning due to the amount of racing taking place later in the day. Both the Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 and Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube were holding qualifying races. The Boyd Gaming 300 was also set for Saturday afternoon.
However, the two qualifying events were both canceled due to inclement weather. Heavy rain fell at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which meant that the competitors could not take part in their single timed laps.
This also put the NASCAR rulebook in charge of determining where each driver started during the actual races. Fan-favorite Kyle Busch was given the top spot while Denny Hamlin was in fourth. Jimmie Johnson, who will be retiring from full-time racing, was placed at 18th.
NASCAR fans were not overly happy about the cancellations. They were excited to watch the single laps while hearing the broadcasters details the strengths and weaknesses of each driver. Instead, they were just looking at a website.
That's something u don't see often at Vegas.— Nate Wines (@NateWines4) February 22, 2020
Las Vegas is a city not known for precipitation, which only meant that the heavy rain falling on Saturday was a massive surprise for NASCAR fans. They couldn't believe that there was inclement weather at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, let alone enough to force a cancellation.
With the news of the rain causing issues, the fans wanted to take some drastic measures. They felt that it was time to "penalize the weather."
Boo, they should at least use fastest practice lap instead of points standing when they cancel qualifying. #NASCAR— Arik Fetscher (@ArikFetscher) February 22, 2020
Following the news of the cancellation, the NASCAR fans immediately began searching out the starting grid for Sunday's Pennzoil 400. They wanted to know where specific drivers would be starting and if they would be facing a disadvantage.
One fan, however, wanted to discuss potential changes to the system. Why use points or any other method to determine the starting order when they could simply take the practice session times?
There were multiple fans on social media that were confused by the arrangement of the drivers. They understand that the qualifying laps were not taking place due to the rain, but there were still several practice laps available for them. Why not use these times?
In the opinions of these fans, the practice laps had taken place prior to the rains falling at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If these times were available, why wasn't NASCAR using them?
There is no inspection after qualifying. It’s an impound race.— K.P. (@Plowden1) February 22, 2020
One of the factors to take into consideration following the rain cancellation is that the crews were not allowed to make any adjustments to their race. The Pennzoil 400 is an "impound race," so there can not be any work done on the cars following the qualifying laps.
With the rain cancellation, the teams still had to operate as if they had taken part in the qualifying laps. The cars were not allowed to be touched until Sunday.
This sucks 😞 .... I feel bad for my Daniel Suarez for not getting to qualifying today! I'm hoping that they can get the Xfinity series in today! Ptetty bummed out 😮!!— Angie DiBlasi (@angie_diblasi) February 22, 2020
One of the best parts of qualifying laps is that the drivers can give themselves an advantage with a solid lap. Some of the drivers with worse odds to secure a victory can move up in the starting grid, which is exactly what the fans hope for.
With the inclement weather causing issues on Saturday, this meant that drivers such as Daniel Suarez could not move up in the pack prior to the actual race beginning.
With the qualifying laps canceled due to rain, the drivers were left with nothing to do. In the opinions of the fans, this meant that they could build some race trucks and start practicing for battle against Kyle Busch.
Kevin Harvick actually started this conversation on Saturday afternoon when he placed a bounty on Busch. He said that he would pay a Cup Series driver $50,000 if they could defeat Busch in a truck series race.
Is NASCAR experiencing a run of bad luck, or is there something else in play? The fans wanted to know the answer to this question following the news that the qualifying laps were canceled. This was the second weekend in a row where weather played a role.
The 62nd running of the Daytona 500 was scheduled to take place on Sunday, Feb. 16, but the race was postponed after a mere 20 laps due to rain. The remainder of the race was held on Presidents Day, where Denny Hamlin took home the victory.
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