NASCAR’s backup plans if Martinsville gets rained out

The forecast for tonight’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway does not look promising. But NASCAR’s backup plans do not include a Thursday race.

As has been the case for many races throughout the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season thus far, rain figures to be a factor in whether or not tonight’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 will be contested at Martinsville Speedway.

Both of the midweek races that were already run ended up being affected by rain. The Wednesday race at Darlington Raceway three weeks ago was delayed and then ended early while the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway two weeks ago was postponed from Wednesday to Thursday and then halted due to rain before continuing.

Tonight’s 500-lap race around the four-turn, 0.526-mile (0.847-kilometer) oval in Ridgeway, Virginia is scheduled to begin shortly after 7:00 p.m. ET, and live coverage is slated to be provided by Fox Sports 1.

However, the weather forecast is a daunting one.

According to The Weather Channel, there is an 80% chance of thunderstorms in Ridgeway throughout the day and throughout the evening as well.

But if it turns out that NASCAR’s first ever night race at Martinsville Speedway cannot be contested this evening, the race will not be contested tomorrow night, as there would not be enough time to turn around and travel to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this weekend’s four scheduled races across the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Truck Series.

According to Motorsport’s Jim Utter, one contingency plan includes running the race next Wednesday, June 17, as there is currently no midweek race scheduled to take place between the race weekends at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

Another one is simply giving Martinsville Speedway’s race to Homestead-Miami Speedway to create a Cup Series doubleheader this weekend.

Of course, both of these plans assume that there will be no rain at Homestead-Miami Speedway (no rain in Florida in June?) this weekend, and the first plan assumes that there will be no rain at Martinsville Speedway next Wednesday as well.

For the record, this weekend’s forecast for Homestead does not look promising, either. Next Wednesday’s forecast for Ridgeway looks iffy.

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But as of now, all we can do is wait and see, as we have done quite a bit of over the last few months. Be sure to tune in to Fox Sports 1 tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET for what is hopefully the live broadcast of the 11th race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.

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