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Watkins Glen postponed to Monday for rain

The 'Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen' Cup road course race failed to get underway, after rain rolled in just as cars prepared to take to the road course.
NASCAR has been forced to roll over the Sprint Cup race at this historic Watkins Glen International road course in New York state to Monday, after rain prevented the race from turning a single lap.

The 'Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen' had already been brought forward in an attempt to beat the weather fronts that radar showed were inexorably bearing down on the circuit, but no sooner had the pre-race ceremonies been completed than the rain began to fall.

At one point, nearly three hours after the planned start time, the rain appeared to be easing and NASCAR hurried jet blowers out onto the course to try and dry things up, but before they could make any real impression on the situation the rain started to fall again and the radar outlook was bleak.

That forced the decision to roll the race over to Monday morning, with the new official start time of 10am local time (3pm BST), earlier than usual as there are still concerns about further showers and rain plaguing the area.

The last time that the Watkins Glen event was delayed until Monday was 2009, when the eventual winner was Tony Stewart.

NASCAR Sprint Cup does not allow any wet weather running, even though Goodyear provide wet tyres to the junior Nationwide Series for road course events. With road tracks so infrequent in Cup racing - only two races at Infineon and Watkins Glen out of a 36-race season - it's felt that the drivers simply do not have the wet running experience to allow them to make a decent showing.

Speaking in 2009 after the last rain-delayed race at the Glen, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp had explained: "For the level of competition that we have in the Sprint Cup Series and as the stakes continue to rise from a competition standpoint, a sponsorship standpoint, a championship standpoint, we'd be best served to run the Sprint Cup Series on dry race tracks." He added, "We feel like that would be better for competition, that would better for the level of racing that the fans are accustomed to seeing."

When this year's race does finally get underway, Kyle Busch will start from pole position with AJ Allmendinger starting from second and his Richard Petty Motorsport team mate (and road course specialist) Marcos Ambrose will be starting from third just behind them.

"It doesn't bother me. Of course, you'd like to be racing right now but this is part of it and this is the way it works," said Allmendinger. "I'm trying to just stay pretty relaxed and have fun with the guys. I'm just gonna hang out and be ready when it's time to go whenever that is."

For his part, Ambrose insisted that the delay wasn't stressing him out. "No, not at all, it keeps me relaxed," he said. "You can't fight the weather, so I just worry about stuff you can control. I've got the kids here with me, so I'm going to play with them a little bit and chill out ... play a bit of PlayStation, play with the kids and have something to eat."

And now he and the rest of the drivers and their families can do it all again on Monday, hopefully with more on-track activity this time.



Related Pictures

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NASCAR Officials wait in the rain for the start of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on Sunday, August 14 before the race was officially postponed until Monday. [Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet, gets into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to his eighth Phoenix win with Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who finished in sixth place Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Harvick won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was his 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR. (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads Kevin Harvick (driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet) during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 12, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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Elite - Unregistered

August 15, 2011 1:11 PM

That they only use full racing slicks has nothing to do with such a decision right ? In F1 they have wet tyres (ie the tread is cut for water evacuation) and they red flag wet races sometimes. What's wrong with not running on a wet track when you only have full slicks ?

leadhead13 - Unregistered

August 15, 2011 7:50 PM

I wonder how many of you have actually tried to drive an 3400lb, 850hp race car on a sunny day much less in the wet. The cars are simply not conducive to wet conditions. No lights, no wipers, no defoggers on the windscreen, slick tires, no traction control... Basically, no visibility and no control. Sounds like fun! These guys are on the edge of control all the time, and you expect them to run with no traction? Come on. If you are really a fan of the sport you don't want to see your heroes, put in a hazardous stituation like that. If Nascar decided to run anyway, and someone was seriously injured or killed, then they would be critized for that too. I think they'd rather be critized for being cautious, then being negligent. I can wait out the rain, but I wish they'd be a little more clear on when to watch it on Monday. I hate that it's up to the network to televise it (or not) the next day. I live in Canada, and the race is now over, and I missed it.



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