By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Wintry conditions was the word around the NASCAR garage Saturday instead of spring climate and racing action, as both the Camping World Truck Series race and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying have been impacted by inclement weather.
With weather being a concern, the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 truck race started several minutes early to get as much racing possible. The 32-truck field managed to run 23 laps until it was halted for rain and snow.
Not wasting time, NASCAR postponed the race until Sunday evening, following the STP 500 at approximately around 7 p.m. EST.
Pole sitter Ben Rhodes has led each lap and in front of the field, followed by teammate Matt Crafton, Kyle Benjamin, Grant Enfinger and Johnny Sauter to round out the top-five.
Rhodes said he had no complaints about his No. 41 Alpha Energy Soultions Ford, but felt the track was slick.
“I was really heavy with our truck was handling, our Ford F-150 was fast,” Rhodes said. “The characteristics were a little bit different than what I thought though. I think the track was starting to get a little slick, but I was really happy. No complaints on my side.”
Prior to the red flag, the caution was already out on Lap 15 for Mike Senica, who stopped on the backstretch.
Senica was parked by NASCAR for not only failing to maintain minimum speed, but also ignoring the sanctioning body’s request of parking his No. 1 Chevrolet Silverado.
NASCAR has called Senica, his crew chief and spotter to the hauler for the incident.
In addition of postponing the 250-lap Truck race, Cup Series qualifying was canceled. Martin Truex, Jr., who was fastest in both practice sessions Saturday, will lead the field to the green flag for the third straight week.
However, this time around, it’s car owner points that granted Truex’s first-place starting position, as he’ll look for his first win at Martinsville after finishing second in his last trip at the 0.526-mile circuit.
Fall winner Kyle Busch will start alongside Truex, followed by the Penske trio of Joey Logano, spring winner Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the first five positions.
Sunday’s STP 500 is scheduled to start at 2:07 p.m. EST.