As reasons go to abandon on-track activity, a hurricane in your back yard is a pretty good one.
The progress of Hurricane Joaquin has been worrying forecasters all week, and when it came to it there was little surprise when NASCAR made the early call to abandon all track activity at Dover International Speedway on Friday after constant rain overnight and into the morning with little prospect of relief.
CLICK: Full starting grid for Sunday's Cup race.
That means that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice scheduled for Friday morning as well as the afternoon's qualifying session. With both sessions unable to go ahead, the starting grid for Sunday's AAA 400 will not be set according to the points standings.
That means Joe Gibbs Racing's Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin will line-up on the front row of the grid, the pair having won the most recent two races to lead the Chase heading into this weekend=, with their JGR team mate Carl Edwards in third.
Kenseth and Hamlin's victories mean that both drivers are guaranteed a spot in the next round of the Chase, dubbed the Contender Round, when the current 16 drivers still in Chase contention will be cut by four after Sunday's race.
The fourth member of the JGR line-up Kyle Busch is currently in the drop zone and is at risk of missing the cut, as are Richard Childress Racing's Paul Menard, Michael Waltrip Racing's Clint Bowyer and reigning Cup champion Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing).
All 43 Cup drivers taking part in this weekend's race should still get a chance to practice in two separate sessions on Saturday.
The compression of this weekend's schedule as a result of the loss of Friday's session means that there will be no time for NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying on Saturday, and so the starting grid for Saturday's Hisense 200 race will also be set according to owner points meaning that Penske's Ryan Blaney will lead the field to the green flag.
That's assuming that the disruption from the inclement weather doesn't continue into the weekend. Hurricane Joaquin does appear to have moved away from the coast and heading back out into deeper water meaning that the risk of the storm making landfall has now significantly receded compared with earlier predictions.
However there are still likely to be heavy showers throughout Saturday which might cause further delays and adjustments to the Dover schedule. The outlook for the race on Sunday puts the risk of rain at 50 per cent, and the race officials will be under extra pressure to get the crucial race in the books because Dover lacks floodlights meaning that the race must be at least half way before 6.45pm local time at the latest.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is also in action this weekend, but the Rhino Linings 350 is being held on the other side of the country at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada, meaning that the weather will not be a factor for that race.
See starting grid for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway.
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