A lot of waiting around today at Watkins Glen and not much track action. Rains settled in a few minutes after the green flag in the morning and continued until 3pm. NASCAR waited until 4pm to allow practice to restart. That practice lasted just...
A lot of waiting around today at Watkins Glen and not much track action. Rains settled in a few minutes after the green flag in the morning and continued until 3pm. NASCAR waited until 4pm to allow practice to restart. That practice lasted just 45 minutes with red flags flying what seemed like every five minutes. Robby got in three runs, his best posting a lap of 1:13.4 seconds and good for 11th. While Robby claimed it was a decent lap he also said there's at least a second, and maybe more, left in the car that will come with being able to work with the car over an extended session. The intermittent practice didn't really provide much room improvement.
Much was made of the rain tire issue. Everybody has them, but nobody in the morning used them. NASCAR decided in the afternoon that it wouldn't be fair to hold qualifying if the conditions weren't going to be the same for everyone. Basically, they weren't about to allow the early qualifiers to go out in rain and have later qualifiers go out in drying conditions. Makes sense. But given that, when do rain tires ever come into play? How could you ever accurately predict 2 hours of straight rain? And since you can't predict that and won't attempt to, nobody really has reason to jeopardize their cars by practicing in the rain. Why risk it? Perhaps the best way to get around the problem is to change qualifying to a session format where all cars have the opportunity to go out and turn qualifying laps at the same time. Similar to open-wheel. I don't know, I'm sure some people won't like that because of tradition, but after staring at a stack of rain tires all day and not watching any practice I think something needed to be done.
As for tomorrow, the schedule apparently will resume as it would under normal conditions with practice beginning at 8:30am est. Should the day be completley rained out, we figured out that we will make the race based on the qualifying draw where we drew 34th. Of course everyone is hoping that won't be the case and we will have an opportunity to both practice and qualify, but it's good to know we're covered in the worst case.