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Rain alters Saturday schedule at Charlotte; XFINITY race set for night time

RELATED: Full Charlotte schedule

CONCORD, N.C. — Rain has forced cancellation of a sizable portion of Saturday’s on-track schedule from Charlotte Motor Speedway, including placing the start of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on hold.

The XFINITY Series’ Drive for The Cure 300 Presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is now scheduled for an 8:31 p.m. ET green flag, with pre-race coverage already underway. Driver introductions are scheduled for 7:45 p.m. ET.

The 200-lap, 300-mile event is the third race in the seven-race postseason and the finale to the Round of 12. The XFINITY championship-eligible field will be trimmed to eight drivers after the Charlotte race.

Both Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practices — originally scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET — and NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying — initially a 12:05 p.m. ET start — were all washed away by inclement weather in the area. Rain intensified from an intermittent mist around noon ET and track-drying efforts were temporarily suspended.

NASCAR competition officials have 12 Air Titans and 12 conventional jet dryers on hand to conduct track-drying efforts this weekend.

Sunday’s Bank of America 500, the first race in the Round of 12, has officially been moved up an hour due to potential weather issues and will begin at 1 p.m. ET.

Denny Hamlin won his first Coors Light Pole of the season on Friday with Joe Gibbs teammate Matt Kenseth qualifying in second.

MORE: Weather updates from Charlotte