Heavy rain drenched the dirt racing surface at Eldora Speedway and forced postponement of Wednesday's scheduled fifth running of the Prelude to the Dream charity late model event to Wednesday 9 September.

"We worked really hard to make sure everything was right for the drivers, fans and viewers at home on HBO Pay-Per-View, but the weather was the one element we couldn't control," said two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who owns the half-mile track in rural Ohio and stages the annual event that this year supports four military-themed charities.

Wednesday's race was to have featured a 26-driver field that included an array of NASCAR's top stars~Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards among them~and representatives from other speed sports. The rain date for the event falls between the Sept. 6 Cup race at Atlanta and the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup field is set Sept. 12 at Richmond.

Because television coverage for the Sept. 9 race hasn't been determined, those who ordered the event on HBO Pay-Per-View will receive refunds.

By the time the Prelude was postponed, four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon already had withdrawn from the event, citing the chronic back problems that have plagued him this season.

It didn't help that Gordon took a huge hit during last Friday's qualifying for the Cup race at Dover. Gordon hit the wall off Turn 2 wall during his first lap and was forced to use a backup car for Sunday's race, in which he finished 26th.

Gordon's first words after the collision were, "It hurts."

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News