DARLINGTON, SC - Weather radar all week signaled that race day for the Busch series was going to be a chilly mix of freezing temperatures, wind chill factor, drizzle and thunderstorms. Mother Nature delivered. The jet dryers took to the track at...
DARLINGTON, SC - Weather radar all week signaled that race day for the Busch series was going to be a chilly mix of freezing temperatures, wind chill factor, drizzle and thunderstorms. Mother Nature delivered. The jet dryers took to the track at 7:15 a.m. in an effort to preserve some semblance of race conditions. Weather held off during the morning and NASCAR was able to complete final practice for the Winston Cup teams. The Busch series cars had just taken to the track before the inevitable happened.
On the initial warm up laps, small wet drops began to fall, and the start was waved off. As the cars continued to motor around Darlington waiting for the rain cell to pass, the skies burst open and the officials red-flagged the field and parked them on pit road as persistent weather continued.
Persistent stormy weather would prove that process futile; as the skies randomly opened up throughout the day and infused the track with the wet stuff making it impossible to carry out the Busch series event.
Four events into the 2003 Busch series season, it appears that perhaps NASCAR has angered the Rain Gods. Nary a race has been executed without some sort of race weekend weather melee. The season opening event at Daytona was run without incident under cool and sunny skies; however, peedweek practices were not without rain delays, with various practice sessions cancelled and/or rescheduled.
Rockingham, a week later, saw the field held over for two days due to an deluge on the scheduled race day.
The weather saga continued at Vegas, where the race had to be stopped twice for rain. Longest red flag was for over an hour and one-half before the system moved past and the event was resumed to completion.
Eeven a week off would not break the curse. As the Busch haulers pulled into Darlington, they were greeted by drizzle sprinkles and lower than average temperatures for the region.
Thursday's qualifying session was could not be carried out because of the squally conditions; therefore the field was set by owner's points according to last years standings.
Stanton Barrett in the No. 60 Roush Racing Ford is the pole-sitter, followed by Jason Keller, Johnny Sauter, Scott Wimmer, Mike Bliss, Brian Vickers, David Green, Shane Hmiel, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., and Stacy Compton.
Weather radar does not predict sunshine for the Winston Cup Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. The large moisture packed weather system currently stalled over the Southeast continues to usher in menacing weather, with a 60% chance of storms Sunday.
NASCAR officials continue to try and wait out Saturday's heavy rainfall in the hopes to start the Busch race. Radar does not look promising.
UPDATE: 3:30 pm
NASCAR has called the Busch Series race for today due to the constant rain. The race has been rescheduled for Monday, March 17th at 11:00 a.m.