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Rain Postpones Cup, IRL and NHRA

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, March 28 2010

Rain has turned Sunday into a raceless day up and down the East Coast. The Sprint Car Series, Indy Car Series and NHRA were all postponed. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)

Rain has washed out Sunday’s events in three of the top auto-racing series of North America. All are in the Eastern time zone and all have been rescheduled for Monday.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia has been reschedule for noon. The race will be carried live by Fox.

The Indy Racing League’s Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg IndyCar street race in Florida has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. and will be aired on ESPN2.

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series’ Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. with Sportsman racing followed by the finals/semi-finals of Top Fuel then Funny Car at 11 a.m. Spectator gates will open at 9 a.m.

ESPN2’s continuation of coverage of the rain-delayed NHRA event has been scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The 30-minute show will feature the final rounds in Top Fuel and Funny Car and the second round and final of Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle competition at the first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event to feature racing in four lanes instead of two.

Two rounds of Funny Car racing were completed Sunday with Ashley Force Hood and her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang joining father and team owner John Force in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang winning their way into the last quartet alongside a pair of Don Schumacher owned Dodge Chargers driven by veteran Ron Capps and upstart Matt Hagan.

John Force will have lane choice in the final based on his second round run of 4.064 seconds. His elapsed time was equal to Ron Capps’ but Force’s mile per hour speed was faster 313.29 vs. 312.50. Capps will have second choice of lanes followed by Ashley Force Hood who recorded a time of 4.075 seconds in her second round elimination stanza.

John Force Racing driver Robert Hight was ousted in the first round. Hight lost half his 8,000 horsepower early in the run when four cylinders briefly misfired.  However, when three of the four uncooperative cylinders re-fired, the 14-time tour winner still thought he might be okay.  Unfortunately the damage already had been done.   The Auto Club Ford had already moved to the left of the desired racing groove and crew chief Jimmy Prock’s supposition is that as it drifted nearer the centerline, the left tire began to spin while the right tire continued to track forward.  That shot the blue-and-white Mustang across the centerline and into the path of the Toyota of Jeff Arend. The two cars came together as Hight’s Mustang slowed and Arend’s brushed past him in the left side.

Although the damage was confined primarily to the carbon fiber bodies and the headers, it was an unexpectedly early end of the day for both drivers.

The Top Fuel finals/semi-finals will be contested by Cory McClenathan, Doug Kalitta, Antron Brown, and Doug Herbert. Following the Top Fuel and Funny Car races the second round of Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will be run.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, March 28 2010
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