NASCAR Nationwide cars racing on rain tires for third time in sport’s history

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ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin — For only the third time in NASCAR history, cars are racing on wet weather tires in Saturday afternoon’s Gardner Denver 200 at the Road America road course.

The 50-lap race around the 4.048-mile 13-turn track was brought under caution on Lap 25.

Drivers made two more laps around the track under caution before NASCAR officials mandated that all cars stop on pit road on Lap 27 and that installation of the so-called rain tires was mandatory, not an option.

The race remains under caution heading to Lap 28 and is expected to go green on Lap 29.

This is the third time NASCAR cars have raced on rain tires: the other two times were in Nationwide Series races in 2008 and 2010, both in Montreal.

UPDATE: The race is back underway with 22 laps left and Sam Hornish Jr. in the lead.

Alex Tagliani took the lead away from Hornish on the following lap and remains at the front of the field with 19 laps left in the race.

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.