The snow that caused the postponement of the 2018 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway isn’t something that NASCAR has to deal with often, but it’s not unprecedented either.
If you’ve been a NASCAR fan for even a year or two, you know all about rain delays pushing the start of events back into the evening or even to the next day. Snow, though? That’s a lot less common, though it’s something that’s in the news right now since the white stuff caused both the STP 500 and Alpha Energy Solutions 250 to be postponed until Monday at Martinsville.
Though the NASCAR season runs from February through November and thus could definitely run into snow just on the basis of the calendar, NASCAR does a nice job scheduling the early and late parts of each year to lessen the chances. In other words, while it could snow in Phoenix in March, that isn’t all that likely.
You have to go back a little bit to run into snow-delayed races, but here are two that occurred during the last 25 years of NASCAR.
2006 Food City 500 – Bristol Motor Speedway
Snow on Friday cancelled qualifying, then more snow on Saturday brought out the red flag during the then-Busch Series Sharpie Mini 300, which ended up finishing as a night race. The Cup Series race went on as scheduled on Sunday and was won by Kurt Busch, who memorably did a snow angel on the start-finish line to celebrate.
1993 Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
This was a big one. Originally scheduled to take place on March 14, it was delayed almost a week because Atlanta was effected by the so-called “Storm of the Century.” Nearly three feet of snow fell in some parts of Georgia, so it was no surprise that the race was postponed until the following weekend, which was a scheduled off-weekend.
The race was also memorable when it was run because Jeff Gordon appeared to be on his way to his first NASCAR Cup Series victory, but he spun late and Morgan Shepherd took the checkered flag, the final time he did so in a Cup Series race. Gordon ended up having to wait until the 1994 season for his breakthrough win, but he did it in an even more famous race, the Coca-Cola 600.
One Cup Series race postponed by snow every 25 years isn’t such a bad deal, all things considered. Keep that in mind while enjoying the Martinsville doubleheader on Monday.