Racing at Bowman Gray was once again rained out Saturday night.
Officials at Bowman Gray decided at about 3:30 to postpone the scheduled six races scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
Through the first eight scheduled weeks, including Saturday’s postponement, four nights have been completely rained out, and another was stopped short two weeks ago because of heavy rain during the 100-lap Sportsman Division race.
“We want to race if at all possible, and sometimes that may mean that we have to start late. We just basically have to take every decision as it comes,” said Loren Pinilis, the media-relations director at Bowman Gray. “Based on the forecast and what we’re seeing on the radar, and what we’ve already seen the way the track conditions already are, I don’t think we would’ve even made it to that point. I think it would’ve been a total wash tonight.”
According to Bowman Gray records, the most rainouts in a year was nine in 1959.
That, however, came when racing at the track was pretty much a year-round sport. Saturday’s postponement tied the record for the most rainouts since 2000, which has happened four times — 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2019.
“You can’t control the weather,” Pinilis said. “All we can is just make the best decision that we can make. You want to make the best decision and we tried to, but ultimately everyone understands that it’s out of your control.”
Many times officials at Bowman Gray will wait as long as possible to make a final decision on whether to call a race or not.
“It’s very frustrating because sometimes the forecast will change minute to minute and hour to hour, and based on so many factors and computer models and everything else,” Pinilis said. “We just try to do the best we can and a lot of times what that means is that we wait until later in the evening, until 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 o’clock to see how the weather’s going to shake down. Even if the forecast has been very dismal for several days we still just have to wait until that critical moment to see what’s actually going to happen.”
The 50-lap Stadium Stock race, which was scheduled to be the featured race Saturday night, will be pushed to next week.
That will go with the already scheduled twin 50-lap Modified Division races, twin 20-lap Sportsman races and a 20-lap Street Stock race.
“That’s the nature of having an outdoor event, is that weather obviously impacts what we get to do here,” Pinilis said. “This is our 71st season, so we’ve seen about everything you can see. We’ve seen years of plenty of rain and years of plenty of sunshine, so we’ll take whatever we’ll get.”
The chain race, which was also scheduled for Saturday night, will be rescheduled for June 22.
“What we’re going to do is kind of follow our model of just trying to get caught up and move the events around, shuffle things around the best we can and still have some great events for our fans,” Pinilis said.