MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The NASCAR Cup Series Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 barely got off the grid Saturday night at Martinsville Speedway, with rainy conditions postponing most of the race to Sunday.
Showers dampened the .526-mile paper clip just before 5 p.m. ET, and after track-drying efforts were attempted, a heavier wave of precipitation moved in around 7 p.m. that persisted for over an hour.
The track was finally dried and deemed ready for racing just after 9 p.m., with the green flag waving at 9:24 p.m. after numerous pace laps to finish preparing the racing surface.
Polesitter Joey Logano led the first three laps before Denny Hamlin ducked to Logano’s inside on the fourth rotation to take control.
Hamlin led through a lap-37 caution flag for the spinning car of James Davison, at which point the field came down pit road for service and the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry came back onto the track in front.
Unfortunately, rain returned at that point and the field was stopped with just 42 of 500 laps complete.
After nearly an hour of attempted track drying and sporadic progress, additional weather moved into the Martinsville area and NASCAR officials officially made the postponement call at 10:20 p.m.
The balance of the Cup Series race will shift to Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET, with live coverage on FS1, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
It will be the second act of a doubleheader, with the conclusion of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Cook Out 250 slated to roll off at noon ET. That race got to lap 91 Friday night before being postponed by weather.
When the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 resumes on lap 43, Hamlin will be the leader over Logano, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott.