NASCAR: Pocono race washed out
By Dan Gelston
LONG POND, Pa. ó Jimmie Johnson’s White House visit will have to wait. So will the start of the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
Steady rain postponed Sunday’s race and it has been rescheduled for 12:15 p.m. today.
Heavy rain hit the track Sunday morning. It let up about an hour before the scheduled 2 p.m. start and the sky brightened for driver introductions. The rain returned about 3:30 p.m. and soaked the surface again. There was light rain the rest of the afternoon, forcing the postponement.
There was also some concern about “weepers” ó water that seeps up through the track following heavy precipitation on the triangle track. Pocono does not have lights and faced a time crunch to start the race.
“It’s just kind of rough to endure it when you’re here waiting for it to either rain more or rain less,” Bobby Labonte said.
Johnson, the three-time defending Cup champion, was among a group of NASCAR drivers to be honored at the White House by President Barack Obama on Monday. Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet was going to be parked at the White House.
NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said the date of a future visit was being discussed with White House officials.
Rain also washed out qualifying on Friday, which automatically gave the pole to points leader Tony Stewart. Stewart lost his pole position and will start from the back of the pack after wrecking his car during Saturday’s practice. He leads Johnson by 192 points in the standings.