Rain postpones NASCAR race outside Chicago

The Associated Press
Posted Sept. 18, 2011, at 8:18 p.m.

JOLIET, Ill. — Rain at Chicagoland Speedway has forced NASCAR to postpone the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

NASCAR will attempt to run the race Monday at noon Eastern.

The forecast didn’t look good from the start, but because the facility has lights, NASCAR waited all day for a window to dry the track. Officials got the window and had the track almost dry, but the sky opened again roughly six hours after the scheduled start.

Matt Kenseth will start from the pole when the race goes off on Monday. Six Chase drivers are starting in the top 10, with Kevin Harvick the lowest qualifying Chase driver at 30th.

This is the second time in three weeks the race has been disrupted by rain.

In the Nationwide Series race Saturday, Brad Keselowski used a dominating run to win.

Keselowski capitalized on Carl Edwards running out of gas on pit road to grab a sizable lead that was never challenged. He beat Edwards to the finish line by 8.568 seconds for his third victory of the season.

It was the first win for the defending Nationwide champion since his July victory at Indianapolis. He broke his ankle in a crash while testing at Road Atlanta four days after that win, and sat out three scheduled races as he healed.

He returned to NASCAR’s second-tier series three weeks ago, and broke through for the win on the eve of the opening round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Keselowski won two Cup races after he was injured to storm through the standings and claim one of the two wild-card berths into the Chase field.

What does the win do for his chances Sunday?

“There’s always the confidence, that’s the biggest thing,” said Keselowski, who will start sixth in the first of the 10 Chase races.

Edwards, another Chase driver, rallied from the fuel miscue to finish second.

“I had a really good time racing with Brad about halfway through the race for the lead, that was a lot of fun,” Edwards said. “We just had a little trouble there on pit road. Ran out of fuel, then we had a really long green flag run. I would have liked the opportunity to race Brad, I guess we just didn’t get that caution.”

Brian Scott matched his previous career-best finish of third, earned at Chicagoland in July 2010.

Aric Almirola was fourth and Sam Hornish Jr. finished a career-best fifth.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/18/sports/rain-postpones-nascar-race-outside-chicago/ printed on October 22, 2014