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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]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 2nd position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, won the pole position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS on the front row. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ParkerStore Chevrolet, poses with the Keystone Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DAV 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch celebrates pole position at Phoenix International Raceway. November 8 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, races to the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, drives during Pinnacle Propane Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Grainger Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via 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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