Washout Saturday leads to NASCAR Doubleheader Sunday at Fontana – FOX Sports

FONTANA, Calif. — NASCAR scrapped all activities scheduled for Saturday at Auto Club Speedway when torrential rain knocked down the 2-mile oval.

Both Xfinity Series and Cup Series drivers will compete on Sunday without practice – something that would have been a major concern a few years ago but having been the typical format in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, the teams should keep up with it.

The cup race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday on FOX. The Xfinity Series race, originally scheduled for Saturday, will take place after the Cup race at approximately 8:00pm ET on FS2.

NASCAR did its best to win Saturday afternoon’s Xfinity Series race, but after the track was mostly dry and the cars were on track for pace laps, rain hit the track again just after 3 p.m. PT. It took about three hours to dry the track, which has not been paved since it opened 25 years ago and is among the most difficult to dry. Weiners — water seeping through the pores and seams in the surface — are common at this track and at times have forced NASCAR to reschedule events despite several hours without rain. NASCAR has 20 vehicles — jet dryers, water blowers, sweepers, vacuums, etc. — on track to dry the surface.

FOX Weather forecasts a 20 percent chance of rain for Sunday. Temperatures will be in the mid 40’s.

If there is no race on Sunday, NASCAR would attempt to race on Monday, likely hoping to start in California mid-morning.

A NASCAR race is considered official when it reaches the halfway point or end of Stage 2, whichever is earlier, and then cannot proceed due to weather, darkness, or other factors. In the cup, that would be 100 of the 200 planned laps. For Xfinity it would be 70 of the planned 150 laps as Stage 2 ends in lap 70.

NASCAR determined the roster for the races based on the metric used to determine the order of qualification and to determine the roster during the pandemic. The formula is: 35 percent owner’s points ranking, 25 percent previous race driver’s finish, 25 percent previous race owner’s finish, and 15 percent previous race’s fastest lap ranking for the driver.

Christopher Bell will be on pole for the Cup, while Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will join him on the front row.

This is the last race on the 2 mile oval of the course. Public records show that NASCAR sold 433 acres to a real estate development company for an estimated $544 million (based on taxes reported in the public documents). NASCAR would retain 90 acres to convert the facility into a half-mile track with 35,000 grandstand seats. About 98 acres of the proposed commercial hub (buildings to be used as warehouses for e-commerce businesses) would be available for parking.

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The NASCAR Cup Series garage opened to rain at Auto Club Speedway.

NASCAR has already announced that it will not be racing on track in 2024 as it begins its transition to the short track. A fixed construction schedule has not been set.

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsport, including the past 30 Daytona 500, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene Magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpock breedand sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

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