Saturday, May 26, 2018
Sports

Rain pushes Sprint Cup race back to Monday

FORT WORTH, Texas — On a day when the weather was more suitable for ducks than racing, the Sprint Cup series at Texas Motor Speedway became this season's first NASCAR rainout.

The Robertson family from TV's Duck Dynasty had prominent roles at Sunday's race, called the Duck Commander 500, but Uncle Si never got to give the command to start engines.

NASCAR pulled the plug after a delay of about four hours; the jet dryers were trying to dry the track from an early shower when rain began to fall again in the late afternoon.

The race was rescheduled for today at noon (Ch. 13), nine hours before the start of the NCAA basketball national title game in nearby Arlington.

Tony Stewart, coming back in 2014 after missing the final four months of last year with a broken leg, starts on the pole.

It's the third time rain has hampered an event in seven Sprint Cup races this season. The opening Daytona 500 was stopped for more than six hours, and last month's race at Bristol Motor Speedway had two delays totaling more than five hours.

Haas enjoys moment

Gene Haas believes his decision to hire Kurt Busch was validated by Busch's victory last week at Martinsville.

"I look like a genius this week, don't I?" Haas said Sunday.

The founder of Stewart-Haas Racing hired Busch in August for a new fourth car that he funds out of pocket. Haas wanted Busch to drive a Haas Automation-sponsored car because he believed the driver could take his company to Victory Lane.

The Haas organization had just one top-10 finish in 284 starts with 12 different drivers before Tony Stewart joined as co-owner in 2009. Since then SHR has 21 wins and one Sprint Cup championship.

But when Busch won the sixth race of the season, Haas wasn't at the track to celebrate.

"It looked great on TV," he joked. "It was one of those things that I've been doing this for a long time and finally saw it happen, and then you just go, 'Wow, I missed that one.' "

Haas said Busch's victory has sparked an interest in his machine company, one of the largest in the world.

"Just this win, we've had such an interest in what we do, the raising of awareness of who Haas Automation is in terms of the machine tool builder, that I know it's already paid back," he said. "I know we already sold a lot of machines because of it."

Haas is also excited for Busch's attempt next month to run both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Haas said he'll attend the Indy 500 and is pulling for Busch to complete both — all 1,100 racing miles

"It's more the adventure than what the results are going to be," Haas said. "You really can't expect to win both of them."

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