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Heavy rain hits Richmond, floods garage

September 04, 2014, Staff report,

The race teams placed their cars on jackstands to avoid submersion

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Heavy rain and lightning scrapped the final half-hour of NASCAR Nationwide Series practice Thursday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway, but the mid-afternoon downpour caused more lasting issues for race teams.


The Nationwide Series official hauler and about a dozen other team transporters were flooded by several inches of standing water, even an hour after rain had subsided at the .75-mile track. The race teams placed their cars on jackstands to avoid submersion, but the rainwater was deep enough to cover the tops of the scales in the NASCAR inspection area. 

Crewmembers walked from their haulers in the garage area in bare feet and rolled-up pants legs after the gully-washer.

Nationwide teams were approximately 50 minutes into a final 90-minute practice session when lightning in the area forced NASCAR officials to order spotters down from their rooftop perch, putting a hold on on-track activity. About 10 minutes later, the skies opened with torrential rain to wash out the remainder of the session.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, recently renamed the Junie Donlavey Garage in honor of the Richmond native and longtime team owner, was not affected by the heavy rain. But the third-turn vehicle tunnel was flooded with 6-8 inches of water, according to a track maintenance worker.

Drivers even took to social media to express their feelings on the heavy rain.


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