NASCAR

Rain pushes remainder of Cup Series race at Martinsville to Sunday

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Rain has washed out the balance of Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, forcing a same-day doubleheader Sunday at the Virginia short track.

The resumption of the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 has been rescheduled to 4 p.m. ET Sunday with live coverage on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. That will follow the remainder of Friday night’s rain-plagued Xfinity Series race, which is set to resume Sunday at noon ET on the same broadcast networks.

Five-time Martinsville winner Denny Hamlin is scored as the leader of the Cup Series race, with 42 of a scheduled 500 laps complete. The event was set to take the green flag at 8 p.m. ET Saturday night, but on-and-off rain hindered track-drying efforts and pushed the start to 9:25 p.m. ET.

During the first caution period for James Davison’s Turn 4 crash, the return of wet weather — forecast to continue until the early hours of Sunday morning — forced officials to call for postponement.

“NASCAR cannot catch a break,” Hamlin told FOX Sports during the red flag. “I mean, gosh, this is crazy how many rain delays and whatnot we’ve had, but appreciate them sticking it out and at least let us try to get some laps in there, and now we’ve got some information and we’ll go from there.”

This is the eighth points-paying event of the 2021 season, and the Cup Series has seen seven different winners in as many races to open the campaign. Stage 1 of the race is set to finish on Lap 130. Stage 2 will end on Lap 260 and the scheduled end will be at Lap 500.

Hamlin led 38 laps in the early going. Pole-starter Joey Logano, shown in second place at the red flag, has led the other four laps thus far.

Rain also halted Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Cook Out 250 after just 91 of its scheduled 250 laps. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones is scored as the leader.

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