Hurricane Hermine has forced NASCAR to postpone all on-track activity scheduled for Friday at Darlington Raceway, the first day of the Southern 500 throwback weekend, in addition to Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series qualifying on Saturday.
Friday’s original schedule consisted of two Sprint Cup Series practices and two Xfinity Series practices. Both Cup practice sessions and one Xfinity practice will now move to Saturday and take place in lieu of qualifying, as practice has precedence over time trials.
The starting lineup for both races will be based off owner points. Kevin Harvick is awarded the pole position in the Sprint Cup race, while Paul Menard will lead the Xfinity field to the green flag.
The Xfinity race remains slated for Saturday afternoon (3:45 p.m. ET, NBC), and the Sprint Cup race for Sunday night (6:15 p.m. ET, NBC).
The storm system was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Thursday, and heavy rain, strong winds and the potential for tornadoes are expected to impact the Darlington area throughout Friday day and into the evening.
The forecast improves considerably for Saturday and Sunday, according to meteorologist and SB Nation contributor Brian Neudorff. He estimates there is a 90 percent chance the Xfinity race is run and a 100 percent the Sprint Cup race gets in.