Rain postpones Sprint Cup to Monday

Updated: August 3, 2009, 10:08 AM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

LONG POND, Pa. -- Wet conditions Sunday caused NASCAR to postpone the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 until 12:15 p.m. Monday at Pocono Raceway.

Monday's forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, highs in the mid 70s and only a 10 percent chance of rain.

"The weather will be similar to what we had for practice Saturday," driver David Ragan said. "But everyone was setting up the cars today for cloudy skies. So who knows what will happen on Monday? I think we will have a competition yellow."

NASCAR officials planned a competition caution on Lap 20 if the race had started Sunday, so a similar caution scenario is likely for Monday.

A mandatory yellow flag gives the teams a chance to make adjustments based on the track conditions and an opportunity to check tire wear.

[+] EnlargePocono
Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesNASCAR was forced to postpone Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono after rainstorms soaked the area.

The Pocono event is 200 laps around the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track.

"Being around another day won't be fun for anybody,'' Jamie McMurray said. "But this certainly can't be as bad as Michigan two years ago, when we were there until Tuesday."

Heavy rain fell early Sunday at Pocono, causing flooding around the facility. Drying the track was difficult because of weepers on the pavement from the ground being saturated.

Ironically, the sun was shining when NASCAR called the race at 4:30 p.m. ET, but it was too late in the day to start the race. Pocono does not have lights, so the race couldn't have been completed before darkness.

"What's tough is, everybody's got a schedule for the week, and everybody's got plans," Bobby Labonte said. "They're all changed now. Everybody's got to change their stuff. But in a sport where we can't race in the rain, there's nothing you can do about it."

Three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, along with several other top NASCAR drivers, was scheduled to attend a reception at the White House on Monday in honor of Johnson's accomplishments. That reception will be rescheduled for a later date.

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter