The first night race of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season started Saturday night but was eventually pushed back to Sunday afternoon because of rainy conditions at Martinsville Speedway.
The National Weather Service forecast for Martinsville put the chances of rain Saturday at 80 percent. After the rain arrived, the scheduled 8 p.m. ET green flag for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 was delayed to just after 9:20 p.m. The race was halted less than a half-hour later after 42 laps as a shower hit the track. The race was then called at 10:20 p.m. ET.
NASCAR announced that racing will resume at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.
Rain had already affected the first race of the weekend at Martinsville, the Xfinity Series event Friday night. NASCAR suspended the race after 89 of 250 laps and will complete it at noon ET Sunday.
Below is what we know about the weather forecast and conditions NASCAR will monitor as it tries to get Saturday’s race completed.
NASCAR race weather updates
Saturday, 10:20 p.m. ET
NASCAR announces the postponement/suspension.
Saturday, 10 p.m. ET
NASCAR begins drying the track, but is that just wishful thinking?
Saturday, 9:45 p.m. ET
The race goes 42 of the scheduled 500 laps before rain forces a red flag. Cars are brought down to pit road and covered.
NASCAR’s battle against the elements started Friday night. Showers over the track halted the Xfinity race around 9:30 p.m. ET. This was the radar about an hour later.
The race was suspended after about a three-hour delay and multiple attempts to dry the track.
Things didn’t look much better for Saturday’s night race:
Per Weather.com, there was a 100 percent chance of rain in the evening: “Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm this evening, then some lingering showers still possible overnight. … Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100 percent.”