Monday, January 22, 2018
Sports

Sprint Cup race at Pocono postponed to Monday

LONG POND, Pa. — Constant rain forced NASCAR to postpone Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 Sprint Cup race to today at Pocono Raceway.

The rain fell until about noon for what was a scheduled 1:30 p.m. start. Efforts to dry the track were interrupted at about 2:30 by more showers. The forecast called for more continuous rain.

Weather permitting, today's race will begin at 11 a.m. and air on NBCSN. The key phrase is weather permitting — as of Sunday afternoon weather.com called for a 70 percent chance of rain this afternoon in Long Pond, then 40 percent on Tuesday.

This is the first time both races at a track in one year have been postponed to the next day, according to Sporting News. The June race was also postponed; Kurt Busch won the Axalta 400 on a Monday.

There are no lights at Pocono, so it was a relatively easy call by NASCAR to postpone at 2:45 p.m.

Driver Kasey Kahne went on TV Sunday and bemoaned that he would have to delay a vacation to the Bahamas.

Pocono had more pressing problems.

NASCAR tracks don't release attendance numbers, but track CEO Brandon Igdalsky said Pocono was on pace for its biggest crowd in years. The track's infield and camping areas were sold out, along with some of the higher-priced suites. And Monday races are a burden for everyone in NASCAR.

"A lot of our staff are volunteers and they've got jobs tomorrow they've got to get back to," he said. "They've taken off Friday already. It definitely hits you in the purse strings. The possibility of two in one season, that's painful."

Igdalsky said there was a Jeff Gordon bump in ticket sales when the retired four-time champion came back to drive for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. Igdalsky said it was hard to put an exact number on the additional tickets sold because Gordon's return coincided with a normal final-weeks sales push.

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