The NASCAR Cup Series is back in action on Saturday after a week of rest, but there are concerns among racing fans about a weather delay. The reason is that the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 takes place at Martinsville Speedway, a track that dealt with inclement weather on Friday. Here is the forecast for Saturday's race.
The race is set for 7:30 p.m. ET (green flag at 8 p.m.), with FS1 providing coverage. The current forecast from the National Weather Service calls for temperatures in the 60s. There is a 70-90% chance of rain at the time of the race, which could cause several delays. If NASCAR has to move the race, Sunday may provide a better option. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 70s and only a 20% chance of rain.
The inclement weather caused multiple issues during Friday's Xfinity Series race. The start of the Cook Out 250 took place a half-hour later than expected due to rain at the track. The drivers were able to get behind the wheels of their respective stock cars and completed 91 of the 250 laps on the iconic short track.
JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson won Stage 1 after the delay. The second stage began and was near its halfway mark when another rain shower brought out the red flag. The race came to a halt at 9:32 p.m. ET, but the track-drying efforts continued. However, NASCAR postponed the rest of the race until Sunday due to the storms intensifying.
If the race takes place at the set time on Saturday night, the fans will be able to watch a Team Penske driver lead the field to the green flag. Joey Logano, the driver of the No. 22 Ford Mustang, has won the Busch Pole through NASCAR's formula. He is the most recent race winner after holding off Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Food City Dirt Race on March 29. Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin will join Logano on the front row. Hendrick Motorsports' William Byron and Team Penske's Ryan Blaney will make up the second row.
Blaney, one of Logano's teammates at Penske, will try to continue a unique trend during Sunday's race. He and Logano both previously served as color commentators for separate Xfinity Series races. They then took part in the Cup Series race the day after their time in the booth and took the checkered flag. Blaney was back in the booth on Friday night for the delayed Cook Out 250, and he expressed hope that this trend would pay off once again.