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Who can’t be stopped in the rain? The best of NASCAR rain racing

CHICAGO — NASCAR has only done races in rainy and wet conditions in its history but certain drivers and tracks stand out among those races.

Ovals mostly comprise the NASCAR schedules and Martinsville Speedway hosted the first oval wet weather race earlier this year.

The famed track ran the first 27 laps in the rain. Eventually, Corey Heim won on slick tires and upon NASCAR calling the race after 124 of 200 laps.

The first-ever NASCAR race in the rain was Road America in 1956. Tim Flock led 17 of 56 laps and won that day.

No other track has seen more rain races than Road America.

In June 2014, Brendan Gaughan earned his long-anticipated first Xfinity Series win on rain tires. Most of the race ran in the rain but the track started drying up when a caution fell with two laps to go.

Alex Tagliani had the fastest car all day with 19 of 55 laps led. He pitted for slick tires and drove from 23rd to 2nd in less than two laps but needed another lap to best Gaughan.

In August 2020, Austin Cindric drove the same No. 22 Team Penske entry and redeemed Tagliani in the rain. Cindric won at the Wisconsin course after leading 19 of 45 laps.

Cindric also won a rainy race at the Daytona road course later that month. Finishing in fourth that day was A.J. Allmendinger, who won NASCAR’s first nighttime rain race at the Charlotte Roval in October 2020.

Allmendinger also won the rain-run Portland Xfinity Series race in June 2022 after leading six of 75 laps.

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve had one of the rainiest stretch of races to start their run in NASCAR.

In the second Montreal race in 2008, Ron Fellows slipped and slid to victory. The Xfinity Series race featured 41 of the 48 laps in the rain. The rain shortened the race 26 laps shy of the finish.

The next year, Carl Edwards beat Marcos Ambrose in Montreal with a last-lap pass in partially-wet conditions.

Quite possibly the rainiest race was Mid-Ohio in August 2016 when Justin Marks kept the wheels underneath him. He led 43 of 75 laps and earned his first Xfinity Series win.

Bubba Wallace had one of the best cars that day but spun multiple times. He still had the lead with 14 laps to go but spun and finished 15th after leading seven laps.

While Mid-Ohio had one of the rainiest races, Circuit of the Americas had one of the rainiest weekends. They kicked off their NASCAR run in May 2021 with Truck Series and Cup Series races in the rain.

The Truck Series ran in the rain for some of the race. Todd Gilliland won and beat Kaz Grala by nearly eight seconds.

The Cup Series race was messier by comparison. In stage two, Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell and Bubba Wallace wrecked out in the rain on lap 20.

Then, Cole Custer and Martin Truex Jr. got the brunt of the heavy rain in a scary wreck on lap 26.

The race went green to the end of stage two, then for 18 laps and was eventually called due to rain with Chase Elliott winning.

Elliott also won a Cup Series race partially run in rain at the Charlotte Roval in October 2020. He almost won the 2021 Daytona road course race until he lost the lead during a caution for rain with 12 laps to go.

Elliott wrecked with eight to go. That set up a restart where Christopher Bell took his first Cup Series win with a pass with two laps to go.

Joey Logano finished second to Bell that day. Logano won a partially rain-run Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen in August 2018 after leading 31 of 82 laps.

Last August, Kyle Larson won another partially rain-run Cup Series race at Watkins Glen. The race ended in controversy as Larson spun Chase Elliott in turn one on the final restart with five laps to go.


Shane van Gisbergen won the July 2 NASCAR Cup Series race on the Chicago Street Course. The race started on rain tires but ended with drivers racing on slicks.

Corey Heim won a similar Craftsman Truck Series race July 8 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The NASCAR Cup Series’ rainy/wet condition points race winners

  • Chase Elliott – 2 wins
  • Christopher Bell – 1
  • Kyle Larson – 1
  • Shane van Gisbergen – 1
  • Tim Flock – 1

NASCAR Xfinity Series rain/wet-weather-run points race winners

  • A.J. Allmendinger – 2 wins
  • Austin Cindric – 2
  • Carl Edwards – 1
  • Ron Fellows – 1
  • Justin Marks – 1
  • Brendan Gaughan – 1
  • Joey Logano – 1

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rain/wet-weather-run points race winners

  • Corey Heim – 2
  • Todd Gilliland – 1

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