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Kansas Weather Unpredictable

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 25 2009

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

kspeedway150A couple years ago, officials at Kansas Speedway requested that the date for the IndyCar Series/Camping World Truck Series weekend be shifted off of the Fourth of July Weekend. Too hot.

So the date was moved to late April.

After events of Saturday, might another date shift be requested?

About 50 laps into the Trucks race at Kansas, rain began to pour down and the race was stopped.

But that was just the beginning of the trouble. Shortly thereafter, storm sirens began to blare, signaling a tornado was in the vicinity.

Team members, drivers, track personnel, series officials and others in the infield at the speedway crammed into the media center.

There they all watched on television as helicopter video of the tornado was broadcast on media center sets.

The tornado was just five miles away and taking dead aim at the speedway.

Eyes got big and the noise from the crowd grew and died as shots of the tornado filled the screens.

Outside, the skies blackened.

There was genuine concern that the track located in the heart of Tornado Alley was about to take a major hit.

At the height of the emergency, driver Ron Hornaday Jr. was seen talking to fellow driver Ricky Carmichael off in a corner of the room. They were not praying. They were talking about an incident on track during the suspended race.

Drivers will be drivers.

As the storm continued, it veered north and the tornado receded up into the clouds.

The mood in the media center brightened until local news began to show damaged caused by the storm. House were leveled and trees were down.

Gradually, the media center cleared.

The race was rescheduled for 10 a.m. Monday.

The IndyCar race is still scheduled for Sunday, but more storms are in the forecast.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 25 2009
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