Mother nature’s beef with NASCAR was lightened Friday night. NASCAR ran on wet conditions at an oval for the first time in the sport’s 75 year history. The question became whether or not NASCAR should be more aggressive with the package.
Last night, they got the race started on a basically dry race track. There would be more rain to come, this time a light drizzle. NASCAR ran 19 laps under caution (9% of the total race) before going green in an effort to dry the track. Debate began on social media discussing the package and how it should be used. Here’s what to know.
- The forecast for this weekend at Martinsville was looking grim for Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Thanks to a wet weather package introduced this offseason, we got the Craftsmen truck Series race started earlier than was possible before.
- NASCAR officials had the trucks start on the wet weather tires, and had the caution lights flashing on the back of each truck. Teams were not permitted to change to slicks until NASCAR threw a competition caution, which happened 27 laps into the race.
- This is a massive step forward in our fight against the elements. Before this year, if it rained, we were lucky to have the race started on race day. Now, once the rain subsides, the wait for the track to dry is cut dramatically. This will certainly aid in making a weather window work to try and make the race official.
Around the Garage
Front Row Motorsports recognized the history their driver Zane Smith was about to make.
GMS Racing shows the tire wear after the 27 lap run before the competition caution.
David Ragan, two time Cup winner, was puzzled why the package wasn’t being used in light rain.
Why aren’t the trucks on the track? The rain is lighter than light. Track is 90% dry. Did we run out of rain tires?? All this back and forth seems silly to me.— David Ragan (@DavidRagan) April 15, 2023
Frontstretch gets this interview of Kyle Busch saying the rain was light, and they never had the chance to really put the package to the test.
In the Stands
Kameron says this is an absolute win!
Josh is loving this new package, and understands it’s impact.
Nathan has a great question.
On your Screen
Eric Estepp host of Out Of The Groove on YouTube says we are witnessing history.
We're about to witness history, folks.— Eric Estepp (@EricEstepp17) April 15, 2023
Track looks mostly dry on TV, so we'll see how these rain tires work.#NASCAR
Jaret Lundberg host of The Iceberg on YouTube, is excited to see the trucks on a rain tires at Martinsville.
The trucks on rain tires, at Martinsville no less, has the potential to be a dumpster fire… I'm genuinely excited lmao— Jaret Lundberg (@IceTitan80) April 15, 2023
Eric wasn’t thrilled with the number of caution laps used to dry the track.
Please do not run 10 more caution laps. Just leave it red until the track is dry.— Eric Estepp (@EricEstepp17) April 15, 2023
In the Pressbox
Jordan Bianchi Motorsports reporter for The Athletic, says the wet weather package exceeded expectations.
The wet weather tire exceeded all expectations with nothing happening beyond the ordinary racing you see on a short track. Tonight was a big step and those who made this happen deserve kudos.— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) April 15, 2023
Jim Utter, NASCAR editor for motorsport.com wonders why NASCAR didn’t use the wet weather tires more during the race.
Not sure why we're not changing back to wet weather tires. It's a very light rain. I thought these were the conditions for which they were designed 🤔— Jim Utter (@jim_utter) April 15, 2023