The NASCAR race weekend at Richmond has already been impacted by weather, as Fridays final Cup Series practice (Xfinity Series qualifying) was canceled due to rain.
According to weather.com, there is a 5-15 percent chance of rain at 7:30 p.m. ET, the scheduled start time for the Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond. The strongest storm systems were expected to clear out of the area late Saturday afternoon, with most of the day in Northeast Virginia being cloudy with a less than 25 percent chance of rain. Scattered thunderstorms were forecasted to end around 3:45 p.m. ET in Richmond.
During the race, which is scheduled for 400 laps (300 miles) around the 0.75-mile track, the chance for precipitation spikes at 15 percent, starting at 8 p.m. ET. The chance of rain remains at 15 percent for the next several hours.
Harvick is searching for his first race win of the season as Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing have won all eight races in 2019. He said that Bristol was the first time he felt his car had race-winning speed. But Harvick finished 13th after working his way through the field and recovering from tire issues.
Video: Harvick after Richmond qualifying: Didnt think it was a perfect lap
Kevin Harvick wins Busch Pole at Richmond Raceway
Brian Neudorff, a meteorologist who provides weather forecasts for all NASCAR races via social media, has an optimistic view of the outlook for Saturday nights Cup Series race.
Harvicks car failed inspection three times before last weekends race at Bristol and he had to start at the back of the pack. Friday at Richmond, he posted the fastest time in the third round of qualifying and will start first Saturday as long as his car passes inspection.
Per Neudorff, there is a 90 percent chance the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway will be completed Saturday night in its entirety.
Erik Jones will start alongside Harvick on the front row. The top five is rounded out by Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch.
Video: Starting Grid: Is Richmond Happys hunting ground?
There is good news in this there #NASCAR weather forecast for @RichmondRaceway – Check it out pic.twitter.com/g2Zlr8tGc4
“Showers and tstorms will be a threat mostly in the morning for Richmond,” Neudorff writes, “and while I am not ruling out a few stray showers or storms leading up to the start of the Toyota Owners 400, I think the race is mostly dry.”
Kevin Harvick, who has not yet won a race this season but has three career Cup Series wins at Richmond, earned the pole Friday in qualifying. Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch round out the rest of the top five starters. (Jones, howver, failed pre-race inspection and gave up his No. 2 starting spot.)
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