The NASCAR Cup Series is prepared for wet-weather racing on its shortest tracks this season. The question is whether the series and its drivers are ready to do it this weekend.
Forecasts for Sunday‘s NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway appear promising for a dry start on the 0.526-mile track. But showers may move into the area in the late afternoon, providing the intriguing possibility of running on Goodyear‘s wet-weather tires on an oval for the first time in Cup history.
The good news is that the sanctioning body got its first taste of real-world experience in Friday night‘s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. With rain soaking the track ahead of the green flag, NASCAR officials decided to start the race with their competitors on wet-weather tires. Before the green flag, the track‘s concrete corners were largely dried, while the asphalt straightaways remained damp.
“I think, all in all, it was a success,” said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR‘s senior vice president of competition. “There were a lot of things that we learned. The way we executed getting the wets on, that worked out well. We got started. I think the big learning that we‘ve got to work through and make sure we‘re executing this properly is when we have a wet or damp pit road and keeping that as safe as possible.
— NASCAR.com —