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Rain postpones Dura Lube 400.

The current inclement weather affecting much of the Eastern Seaboard of North America forced Sunday's Dura Lube 400 at the North Carolina Speedway to be postponed after just 50 laps had been completed.

NASCAR's valiant attempts to carry on where they left off at lap 199 of last Sunday's Daytona 500 were scuppered by the weather today as the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham remained under thick cloud cover all morning and light but persistent rain coated the 1.017-mile oval just as racing was about to get underway.

Pre-race activities in honour of the late Dale Earnhardt included a fly-past from the US air force, whose demonstration team deliberately flew with one plane absent from the formation, and a minute's silence instigated by the recently retired Darrell Waltrip. However the track remained damp and the crowd had to wait more than 90-minutes before racing actually began.

Well, there was three-quarters of a lap worth of racing with Jeff Gordon getting the drop on fellow-front row man Steve Park and Tony Stewart making a bold move on the high-line to pick up three spots and move into third.

However back in the middle of the pack there was contact as Ron Hornaday ran into the rear of Dale Earnhardt Jr's Budweiser Chevrolet as Dale checked up to avoid a somewhat erratic Robby Gordon. Earnhardt Jr was pushed into the wall where he was collected by Mike and Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Spencer and the resulting damage was enough to put him out of the race and end what has been one of the most difficult weekend's of his short career.

Also out on the spot was Kenny Wallace while brother Mike and Jimmy Spencer both made frequent visits to the pits during the ensuing caution period to make the necessary repairs to the damaged machines.

What should have been a quick caution period turned into a long one when the rain began to fall and for another 20-minuted the cars and the jet blowers circulated slowly in unison as the moisture was once again removed before the green flag finally fell on lap 31.

Once again Gordon got the drop on Park who, in turn was able to hold off the advancing Stewart and the top two were quick to establish a good ten-car length gap back to the No.20 Home Depot Pontiac.

On lap 44 Park finally managed to muscle his way beneath Gordon to take the lead to a monstrous applause from the assembled crowd who have stood firm behind both Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc all weekend. But Park's joy was short-lived as just two laps later the yellows were out once more and a quick look at the tens of umbrella's being hastily put up in the stands spoke for itself.

This time the rain was more persistent and after several laps under caution, in which everyone save Stacy Compton made their first scheduled fuel and tyre stops, the red flag was held out when it became clear that the rain was here to stay.

The remaining 342 laps of the 2001 Dura Lube 400 will hopefully be completed on Monday with the cars, now led by Compton, Gordon and Park, taking the green flag at 11am local time (4pm UK time).


Related Pictures

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Sterling Marlin`s Chevy sits out the rain delay
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during 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)
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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with his wife DeLana and son Keelan in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Sunday, November 16, 2014 winning the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finishes 2nd. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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