SPARTA, Ky. – Unable to get the track dry because of persistent weepers (water seeping through the asphalt), NASCAR postponed Sprint Cup practice Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway.
The practice, which originally was slated for two two-hour sessions, was rescheduled for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday. Truck practice, which had been slated to run from 8 a.m.-noon, will end at 10:55 a.m. to accommodate Sprint Cup. The Xfinity Series will stay with its original practice schedule, beginning at 2 p.m.
NASCAR added Wednesday’s practice for Sprint Cup because Saturday’s Quaker State 400 will mark the debut of a new lower-downforce rules package, which also will be used Sept. 5 in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. A high-drag package will be tried at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 26) and Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 16).
The practice delay isn’t expected to impact the rollout of the new rules, and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards said the significance of practicing with the changes, which are designed in the hopes of increasing lead changes, can not be overstated.
“The way that we race here, and the way that we race at Darlington, is going to give us all a good data point going forward,” Edwards said. “NASCAR, all of us, we want closer racing, and we want better racing, we want it to be more exciting, more fun, and NASCAR has a lot of things on the table.”
Wednesday’s first practice was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., but a persistent rain kept cars from taking the track. Drying began after the rain showers stopped at around 3:30 p.m. After about four hours of battling the weepers, NASCAR announced the postponement.