Race Weekend Central

Martinsville Rain Delays Could Dampen Chase Elliott’s Cup Debut

Mother Nature has put Friday’s track activities at Martinsville Speedway on hold.

The Camping World Truck Series and Sprint Cup series have both lost early practice sessions due to continuous rain throughout the morning hours at Martinsville Speedway.

Two more Truck Series practices and Sprint Cup Coors Light Pole Qualifying are also on the schedule for Friday.

Friday’s nasty forecast puts a few teams into a danger zone, including 19-year-old Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott. The Dawsonville, Ga., native is looking to make his first Sprint Cup Series start, driving the No. 25 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. However, if the 4:45 p.m. qualifying session is rained out, Elliott, along with The Motorsports Group’s No. 30 driven by Ron Hornaday Jr., will fail to qualify for Sunday’s STP 500.

The Motorsports Group, a first-year Sprint Cup Series team, is looking to make its first race since finishing 42nd at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team elected to skip the West Coast Swing to work on their cars.

Team Xtreme Racing would have also been required to qualify on time, but the team withdrew its No. 44 due to reasons that have been disputed.

With first practice rained out, the field will be set by owner points for Sunday’s race if qualifying is rained out. Kevin Harvick would start on the pole, followed by Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano.

About the author

A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.

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