Parks Pit Report: Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400

Stretching fuel is exactly what Kurt Busch needed to do to win on Monday.

Stretching fuel is exactly what Kurt Busch needed to do to win on Monday.

The one thing that is the absolute most difficult about Monday races is that there’s not many ways to see it.  Why exactly…for the most part everyone is at work and cannot enjoy the actual race.

Speaking from experience, any kind of rain postponement is an inconvenience.  Last year when I was in Richmond, on my birthday no less, that is exactly what happened.  The night of the race, and my special day, the race got moved to a Sunday.  If I had booked my hotel for an extra day I likely could have stayed to enjoy the race, but unfortunately because of travel I had no choice to go home.

Rain outs are unfortunately tough on everyone, from fans to teams, broadcasters and every hotel because it meant everything had to change.  Setups needed adjusted for daylight and sun, reservations had to be added in some cases, and broadcasters had to reset equipment.

Rain in racing is tough, and people begin to ask, “Why don’t they run rain tires?”

Let’s break this down to make it as simple as can be.  When it comes to an oval track, a rain tire will not work.  The reason why is simple physics.  The G-forces that these cars experience when in the corners are pulling the cars to the right, just like when you take a left-hand corner in your own car why it feels like you’re pulling in the opposite direction.  There’s not as much grip on the inside tires, and in turn, it means possible loss of grip and spinning out.

On a road course, it’s different, because cars are going both directions and are on flat surfaces mostly all the time, only experiencing elevation changes.  NASCAR implemented for the first time on the Sprint Cup competition a few years ago that on all road courses the Goodyear Eagle rain tires.  They also approve of brake lights and also windshield wipers.

Trying to do such a thing on an oval course is impossible.  Even the IndyCar Series will not run on an oval in the rain because the high speeds and the high G-forces they experience, even in their high downforce cars.

Running it on Monday is the best option in this case, and unfortunately for some, it means missing the race.  But, in the end, it is the smart move for NASCAR.

RESULTS:  1-Kurt Busch  2-Earnhardt Jr.  3-Keselowski  4-Elliott  5-Logano  6-Kahne  7-Kenseth  8-Edwards  9-Harvick  10-Blaney

NOTABLE FINISHES:  19-Truex Jr.  31-Kyle Busch  35-Johnson

CAUTIONS:  10 for 40 laps.  Lap 5-6 (#83 spin-Turn 3); 17-19 (Competition); 23-26 (#44 accident-Turn 1); 60-65 (#83 accident-Turn 1); 89-92 (Debris-Turn 2); 94-98 (#10, 14, 38 accident-Long Pond straight); 104-108 (#46 accident-Turn 1); 111-113 (#18, 31 accident-Turn 1); 119-122 (#3 accident-Turn 1); 124-127 (#13, 48 accident-Turn 1).

LEAD CHANGES:  14 among 10 drivers.  B. Keselowski POLE; J. Logano 1-17; K. Larson 18-25; M. Kenseth 26-53; K. Harvick 54-62; M. Kenseth 63-65; C. Elliott 66-86; Kyle Busch 87-89; C. Elliott 90-118; A. Allmendinger 119-120; T. Dillon(i) 121-123; D. Earnhardt Jr 124-126; C. Elliott 127; D. Earnhardt Jr 128; Kurt Busch 129-160.

TIME OF RACE:  3 Hrs, 11 Mins, 15 Secs.

AVERAGE SPEED:  125.490 MPH

MARGIN OF VICTORY:  1.126 Seconds

CHASE GRID:  1. Kyle Busch-416 (points), 3 (wins); 2. Keselowski-442, 2; 3. Edwards-437, 2; 4. Johnson-415, 2; 5. Harvick-490, 1; 6. Kurt Busch-465, 1; 7. Truex Jr.-403, 1; 8. Kenseth-382, 1; 9. Hamlin-372, 1; 10. Elliott, -77 (from 1st-Harvick); 11. Logano, -80; 12. Earnhardt Jr, -109; 13. Dillon, -142; 14. McMurray, -148; 15. Blaney, -150; 16. Newman, -152.

RainORIGINAL POSTING:  Sunday, June 5

LONG POND, PA — Mother Nature has won to start out the NASCAR weekend at the Pocono Raceway.  On Friday the practice sessions were shortened because of weather that hit the area.  Saturday the Xfinity Series had their race halted after 53 of 100 laps because of rain.

Sunday’s race was slated to go green shortly after 1 p.m. EDT, and it kept being moved up because of approaching weather.  Fog in the morning hours along with a heavy mist welcomed teams, and it continued through the morning into the early afternoon.

The forecast for the rest of the day in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, called for 80-90% chance of rain, with possible heavy thunderstorms and high winds.

NASCAR waited till an hour after the scheduled start to officially make the call that no racing would happen.

The Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 will now go green on Monday at Noon EDT.  FS1 will have the broadcast.  The weather is looking to be much different, with highs in the low-mid 70’s and under partly cloudy skies.

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