The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway was postponed by rain on Saturday. The Quaker State 400 race will now take place at noon EDT on Sunday.
Forecasters expected scattered thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and evening on Saturday, and they were correct. The first storm swept through at 3 pm and another went through at 5 pm, leaving the racing surface unusable.
While jet dryers were out and making progress to dry the track, another thunderstorm struck at 7:15 pm. NASCAR officials ordered the dryers to stop working. They continued to fight with the weather until NASCAR made the call just after 9 to postpone.
Friday night’s Nationwide Series race was also cut short by rain on Friday night. With 30 laps to go, officials declared Brad Keselowski the race winner. But the Sprint Cup race hasn’t even seen its first lap. And Sunday’s weather report looks similar to the day before, worrying officials.
It take about two hours to dry out the racing surface on Kentucky Speedway, because NASCAR’s Sprint Cup cars are not equipped to handle a wet surface. While the organization’s new Air Titan track drying system could shorten the drying time to 45 minutes, tracks currently have to pay for use of the system.
And Kentucky Speedway’s owner looked at the price and declined the service. NASCAR last postponed a Cup race last year with the Daytona 500. After rain and a crash involving Juan Montoya and a jet dryer, officials postponed the race until the following Monday night.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 30, 2013
When the Quaker State 400 finally gets underway in Kentucky, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the field to the green flag, followed by Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Marcos Ambrose. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp stated of the rain delay:
“We knew it would be touch-and-go and from early in the morning we were tracking the weather. We dispatched the driers and they stayed out ahead of it, but the weather cells never did move out of the area and they looked like they would linger.”
Saturday’s rain delay was the first in 11 years at Kentucky Speedway. Who do you hope will win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race once it finally gets underway on Sunday?