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Rain forces revamping of Martinsville practices

October 28, 2011, Mark Aumann, NASCAR.com



Rain forces revamping of Martinsville practices

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Weather eventually won out over racing Friday at Martinsville Speedway.

After all of the morning's activities were washed out, NASCAR was able to get one Truck Series practice in before more rain hit and canceled the rest of the day's schedule.

The revised schedule now includes a 90-minute Saturday morning final practice for Cup, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Truck and Cup qualifying, plus the Truck Series Kroger 200 will follow, weather permitting.

Lighter showers and misty rain affected the track most of the morning, with jet dryers finally making some headway early in the afternoon. Truck practice began around 1:15 p.m. ET and teams were able to take advantage of a dry track for almost 37 minutes before the rains returned.

NASCAR officials once again sent the jet dryers out, but as the showers grew heavier, they were forced to cancel the remaining practices and revise Saturday's schedule.

The current weather forecast from the National Weather Service calls for a 100 percent chance of rain overnight, with an accumulation of between .5 and .75 inches. Another quarter of an inch is possible Saturday morning -- with a 90 percent chance of rain, mainly before 1 p.m. ET.

If weather causes Cup qualifying to be canceled in favor of a single practice session, the starting lineup would be based on practice speeds. If Saturday is a complete washout, the starting lineup will be set per the NASCAR rule book, which uses owner's points.