NHRA: Rain washes out Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying four 4-Wide Nationals

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Rain washed out Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying for this weekend’s 6th annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

As a result, instead of the usual four qualifying rounds split equally between Friday and Saturday, Sunday’s final elimination field will be determined just by Saturday’s two qualifying sessions.

Rain began early Friday morning and continued throughout the day, with both lingering scattered showers and mist keeping officials from drying the racetrack.

“It is tough to lose a day of qualifying at any race,” two-time and defending 4-Wide Nationals Funny Car champ Robert Hight said. “It is especially tough at the Four-Wide Nationals when you have to be prepared to run in any of the four lanes on race day.

“We will do our best tomorrow to get some data and more importantly put on a good show for these fans.”

Weather permitting, the revised schedule for Saturday will begin at 8 am ET for sportsman qualifying and time trials.

Track officials expect cool and dry conditions for the remainder of the weekend, according to an NHRA media release.

Qualifying sessions for the three NHRA pro classes – Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock – on Saturday are slated for 1:15 and 4:15 pm ET.

Sunday’s final eliminations are scheduled for 1 pm ET.

According to zMAX Dragway officials, “fans with Friday tickets can present their ticket stub for a 100 percent credit toward Saturday or Sunday tickets, tickets to the 2015 NHRA Carolina Nationals in September or Friday of the 2016 NHRA 4-Wide Nationals.”

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Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.