Charlotte to add lights to Roval infield for Cup playoff race

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Charlotte Motor Speedway will add temporary lights to the infield portion of the Roval for Sunday’s Cup playoff race, Marcus Smith told NBC Sports’ Nate Ryan and The Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer on Saturday.

Smith, president of Speedway Motorsports, made the declaration after Saturday’s Xfinity race.

Xfinity drivers complained how dark the infield part of the course was late in the race. The event, slowed by a red flag and more than a third of the laps run under caution, finished after sunset Saturday.

Sunday’s Cup race will start an hour earlier than the Xfinity race did. The Cup race is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

The wunderground.com forecast calls for thunderstorms Sunday. There is a 77% chance of rain at the start of the race. Rain is expected throughout the event. Teams will be allowed to have up to four sets of Goodyear wet tires for the race. Cars will run unless there is excessive puddling, significant rainfall or lightning.

NASCAR also told NBC Sports on Saturday that the large video board on the backstretch will be dimmed after drivers stated they were blinded by it late in the race.

“The last, I’d say 20 laps where it started to get dark, that was a challenge in the infield,” race winner AJ Allmendinger said. “On the outside of the racetrack, where the lights are for the normal banking, it wasn’t that bad. But in the infield it was definitely dark. … The jumbotron was blinding, honestly. There were times I turned into Turn 4 (of the infield) on the last couple of laps and just had no idea if I was even in the corners.”