Sprint Cup qualifying at Talladega rained out

Leave a comment

Steady rains at Talladega Superspeedway have scratched today’s Sprint Cup qualifying session for the Aaron’s 499. NASCAR made the call after every car had passed technical inspection prior to the session.

As a result, the teams will line up for tomorrow’s race according to speeds posted in the weekend’s first practice. That means Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. will make up the front row; Edwards led that practice with a lap at 199.675 miles per hour in the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. He will not receive Pole Award honors, but will start P1 for the first time since the 2012 Daytona 500.

Row 2 will feature Marcos Ambrose and Joey Logano, while Row 3 will be filled by Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth. Denny Hamlin, who is expected to hand over his car to Brian Vickers during the first caution period as he continues to heal from the compression fracture in his back, starts seventh, with Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne completing the Top 10.

Elliott Sadler, driving a fourth Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, will be unable to make the field for the Cup race as a result of the cancellation.

The rains may also have an impact on whether or not today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at ‘Dega will be run. Bob Pockrass of The Sporting News has reported that, according to NNS director Wayne Auton, the Aaron’s 312 would be moved to Sunday after the Cup race if a rainout occurs. In addition, Sunday’s forecast for Talladega carries at least a 60 percent chance of rain.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

Follow @JerryBonkowski