FORT WORTH, Texas — For all the talk about green-white-checkered finishes in NASCAR this season, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races can’t even get started in rainy Texas.
Persistent wet weather Sunday forced the postponement of a Sprint Cup and Nationwide doubleheader until today.
The Sprint Cup race was called Sunday about 75 minutes after its scheduled 3:16 p.m. start because of persistent drizzle and the forecast for misty conditions until late in the evening. The race was rescheduled for noon today.
“It is disappointing not to race, but this happens now and then,” said Ryan Newman, who starts 10th a week after winning at Phoenix International. “We just have to live with it. It is part of racing.”
Rain on Saturday wiped out the Nationwide race then. It had been rescheduled for Sunday night after the Cup race and will now be run at approximately 5 p.m. EDT Monday.
About 2½ inches of rain fell at the track Saturday and Sunday. The forecast Monday calls for cloudy skies with only a minimal chance of rain.
If both races are run Monday, that means 15 drivers face the potential of 801 miles behind the wheel — 501 miles in the Cup race and 300 more in the Nationwide race.
The last time there were 800 miles of NASCAR racing on one day was Oct. 11, 2003, in Charlotte, N.C., when both Cup and Nationwide races were run. Jamie McMurray and Michael Waltrip both ran all 534 laps that day, and Kevin Harvick ran 533.
The only other time Cup and Nationwide races were run together on a Monday was in February 2008 at California.
But that day in California was only 624 miles. The final 162 laps — or 324 miles — of the rain-delayed Cup race were completed before the running of the 150-lap Nationwide race.
When the Texas races were called Sunday, there was still a light mist in the area and it would have been futile to try to dry the track until that stopped. Under ideal conditions, it would take about 2½ hours to dry the 1½-mile, high-banked track. But with cloudy skies, temperatures in the 50s and high humidity, the process could have taken significantly longer.
There has never been a Cup-Nationwide doubleheader at Texas. The only time a Cup race here was pushed back to Monday was 2002, and the postponed race drew an estimated crowd of 187,000.
Fans with tickets for either race will be able to attend both Monday.