Rain wiped out the first practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen. However the rain did not affect the Nationwide cars as they will are setup to run in the wet.
Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose have raced in the rain in the NNS cars, and have some thoughts on wet weather racing.
Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion
WHY CAN’T WE RACE ON WET SURFACES WITH THE CUP CARS IF WE CAN DO IT WITH NATIONWIDE? “I don’t know why exactly they don’t do it in the Cup Series. It’s a good question. We talked about that a little bit this week in preparation for this race. I just don’t know why. I’m sure they have a really good reason. I’ve enjoyed racing in the rain in the Nationwide Series.
"At Montreal, there are times there has been standing water and that’s a whole different animal, but that race with Marcos when it was drying, the win aside, the race for that win was one of the most exciting races I’ve ever been a part of and that’s because when the track is drying you have so much difference in grip between the wet spots and the dry spots, and then managing the use of the tires because the rain tires don’t hold up as well on the dry as you’d like, so you can hurt the tire.
"There are a whole number of factors that play into driving fast on a wet or drying race track. I really enjoy it, so I would say that a little rain shower in the middle of the race would be just fine. I think it would be a lot of fun and I think it would test all of us a lot and be really exciting.”
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley/DeWalt Ford Fusion
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO RACE ONE OF THESE CARS IN THE RAIN? “That particular battle there with Carl (in Montreal) was fantastic and I actually remember we could pull a gap when it was raining, it was when it was dry when we were out there with wet-weather tires that I had a tough time. When the track is wet or dry you can manage that pretty easily as far as you know how much grip you’ve got, you know how deep to brake and you know how hard to hit the accelerator pedal and all those things because you can learn it.
"But when the track is drying or going from dry to wet, it’s that in-between that’s really difficult to get the job done because every corner, every lap it’s different. As the track is drying you’re taking more chances and saying, ‘OK, last time I could brake at the 400-yard marker. This time I know the track is dryer so I need to brake at 350,’ but until you get there you don’t really know what condition that track is in. Someone could have slid across and brought some fresh water across the apex, so for me it’s the drying or wetting of the track that is the most challenging part when you have to race through it. But I grew up in the rain.
"I’m from Tasmania and we pretty much have water all around us, so it was always wet and I’m used to that. I grew up racing in the rain, whether it’s on a go-kart or heavy stock car I can adapt and that’s really one of the best aspects of wet-weather driving is you have to adapt. You can’t do the same thing every lap.”
Source: From Ford Racing media