Tennessee IRL race sees circuit's first postponement in seven years

Updated: July 14, 2007, 11:02 PM ET
Associated Press

GLADEVILLE, Tenn. -- The IRL Firestone Indy 200 was postponed Saturday night and rescheduled for Sunday, marking the first rainout in the IndyCar Series in seven years.

The cars made it as far as the starting grid before the rain began. The showers slowed several times, but heavy downpours followed after workers tried to dry the track.

After a delay of nearly three hours, the race at Nashville Superspeedway was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon. It was the first rain postponement in the IndyCar Series since June 2000 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Most of the crowd left and race crews retreated to their trailers by the time officials announced the postponement.

The teams will have to shuffle their strategies for Sunday's daytime race. The event was scheduled to be contested in cooler night temperatures but will now likely be held in blistering midday heat on the only concrete oval of the series' 17-race schedule.

Scott Dixon is slated to start the race from the pole, followed by Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan and Sam Hornish Jr.

"It's really disappointing as it kind of breaks up the momentum," Dixon said.

Kanaan and Hornish met earlier Saturday to smooth over friction between them after an altercation following last week's race at Watkins Glen.

Kosuke Matsuura was dropped from 13th to the last starting position after his Super Aguri Panther Racing car failed a post-qualifying inspection. The team's appeal was denied.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press