Martinsville prepares for Sunday doubleheader as rain delays both Cup and Xfinity contests

Martinsville prepares for Sunday doubleheader as rain delays both Cup and Xfinity contests
Lee Spencer

MARTINSVILLE, Va.—NASCAR will settle for a delayed doubleheader from Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.

Just as inclement weather halted the Cook Out 250 on Friday, Saturday night’s conditions were no better for the Blue Emu 500. After 42 laps, the Cup race was red-flagged for rain. NASCAR was forced to reschedule the Cup contest as well.

The Xfinity Series will resume at noon followed by the Cup race at 4 p.m. ET.

Denny Hamlin took the lead from polesitter Joey Logano on Lap 4 and held the point twice for 38 laps.

“The track was not bad—a little bit wet up by the wall,” Hamlin said of the initial conditions at the half-mile track.

Hamlin leads all active drivers on the Cup tour five Martinsville wins, most recently in 2015. After seven wins last season, the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing driver is still searching for his first win of 2021.

"We’re obviously on a strong run with all the top-fives we have, so we’re doing a lot of things right,” Hamlin said. “It’s just a matter of time before we get ourselves up front at the checkers. In the meantime, we’re going to keep working on collecting stage points and growing our lead any way we can.

“Martinsville is always a place we take confidence to, even when we know we need to keep making improvements to our short track program.”

Prior to the red flag, the race was slowed by one caution on Lap 38. James Davison spun in Turn 4 to trigger the yellow flag.

In Friday’s Xfinity Series race, Brandon Jones took the lead from Josh Berry on Lap 88 and was leading the Cook Out 250 when the race was red flagged after 91 laps. Jones, 24, has endured an up-and-down season including two finishes outside of the top 30 in his last two starts.

Harrison Burton is the defending winner of the NXS race. The Xfinity tour returned to NASCAR’s oldest track last season following a 14-year absence.

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