By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Mother Nature reared its ugly head once again on the already enduring 2020 NASCAR season as the weekday races at Darlington Raceway have already taken a hit. Notably, the Xfinity Series race as the Toyota 200 will now commence Thursday at Noon EST on FS1.
Prior to NASCAR pulling the plug on the 200-miler Tuesday evening, they’ve already made changes on the weekday schedule as the original time slot was supposed to be at 8 pm EST. However, the sport made the decision of moving the race two hours earlier Monday as forecasted inclement weather was going to be a major concern.
Even with the change, the harsh reality kicked in as the race was delayed due to rain. After a couple of hours drying the track, more rain arrived and Mother Nature took the victory. It’s the series second race postponement of 2020 as the February Las Vegas race was also impacted by rain.
With no action until Thursday, the sanctioning body will impound the cars in the Xfinity Series garage. Once the 147-lap race gets going, it’ll be a JR Motorsports front row as the last two Daytona 300-miler winners Noah Gragson (2020) and Michael Annett (2019) will lead the 39-car field.
Two drivers will start at the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments. Those are two-time ARCA Menards Series West winner Kody Vanderwal (who was scheduled to roll off 21st) and Joe Graf, Jr. (36th).
In the meantime, the focus shifts to the Cup Series as the Toyota 500K won’t be prone with the inclement weather.
Earlier in the afternoon, NASCAR announced the 228-lap race will start 90 minutes earlier than scheduled. Live coverage will now begin at 6 pm EST on FS1.
Pending how inspections pan out, Ryan Preece will lead the field to the green flag while Sunday’s The Real Heroes 400 winner Kevin Harvick will be 20th on the grid.
Should the Cup race also have weather issues and can’t get underway Wednesday, the current contingency plan is the event would then move to Thursday at 7 pm EST.