NASCAR’s newest version of its Air Titan track drying system is getting a workout this morning.
Rains at Martinsville Speedway forced NASCAR to deploy the new Air Titan 2.0 track dryers this morning, and they were still creeping along the half-mile oval at what was to be the 10 a.m. ET start for Sprint Cup practice.
That session was ultimately scrubbed, and the Camping World Truck Series’ qualifying session for this afternoon’s Kroger 250 has also been delayed slightly. NASCAR hopes to have that going around 11:30 a.m. ET.
Sprint Cup final practice is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, with the Truck race scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET.
The National Weather Service had forecasted a 70 percent chance of rain in the Martinsville region for today.
Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?
Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!
Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden
Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.
Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)
Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.
Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.
Follow: Jerry Bonkowski