Rainout may mean Stewart caught a break

August, 9, 2009

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Another summer Sunday in the Northeast, another rainout for NASCAR. Last week Pocono, this time Watkins Glen. Again, the Cup cars didn't turn a wheel on the scheduled day.

Persistent drizzle on the Finger Lakes district of New York forced postponement of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen road race until noon Monday.

This time, officials got to within 10 seconds of the command to start engines before lightning forced fans and teams to take shelter, and then the rain started.

At 4:04 p.m., NASCAR officials determined they couldn't get the track dry in time to run the full 90-lap, 220-mile race in adequate daylight. The road course is not lighted for night racing.

In a rapidly emptying garage, the only person with a smile on his face was Darian Grubb, Tony Stewart's crew chief.

Not that Grubb wasn't annoyed at the rainout, and not that the second in a row made it any worse.

"Every week's a new week," he said. "It's always annoying."

But on the brighter side, "It's going to be an interesting race tomorrow," Grubb said. "It's going to be hotter, and slick. It'll be fun to go."

Stewart will start 13th, but is a master of slippery tracks in general and road courses in particular, so, Grubb predicted, "It could play right into our hands."

The weather forecast for Monday isn't great, with a 40 percent chance of rain, but the predicted high is 86 degrees, after a weekend when drivers practiced and qualified on a cool track with ambient temperatures in the low 70s.



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