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Rain delays Nationwide race, cancels Cup qualifying

April 25, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Wet weather hampers schedule; K&N Pro Series East race postponed until Saturday

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Rain interrupted on-track activity Friday at Richmond International Raceway, canceling the Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying session and delaying the start of Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

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Forecasts initially called for inclement weather to potentially arrive around lunchtime. Though early practice sessions for Sprint Cup and the touring NASCAR K&N Pro Series East went without a hitch, the skies alternated between mostly sunny and mostly cloudy for the majority of the morning and early afternoon.

Rain began to fall seconds before the Nationwide Series qualifying session was over (approximately 4 p.m. ET), throwing an already busy Friday schedule into disarray. 

The Nationwide Series' ToyotaCare 250 -- the tour's eighth race of the season -- was scheduled for a 7 p.m. ET TV start time, with the green flag dropping at 7:14 p.m. That race, in fact, would be delayed by more than three hours and end early Saturday morning.

The K&N circuit's Blue Ox 100 was tentatively scheduled to start at 9:40 p.m. ET after the Nationwide event, but that was postponed until Saturday at 9 a.m. ET.

Friday's track-drying process began at 6:50 p.m. ET with the Air Titan 2.0 getting onto the track, but heavy rain hit the track again one hour later, forcing a re-do once the wet stuff went away.

Earlier in the day, Sprint Cup qualifying was scheduled to run at 5:10 p.m. ET, but the starting lineup was determined by drivers' best times in the first practice, putting rookie Kyle Larson on the Coors Light Pole position.

Following Larson in Saturday's lineup will be Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer, respectively.

Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick will round out the top five.

It was the first go-round on the 0.75-mile track for the Nationwide Series using the new knockout-style, multicar qualifying format. The Sprint Cup Series will have to try again when it returns to the track in September. 

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Toyota Owners 400 is scheduled for Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET with live TV broadcast on FOX.

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