News & Media

Rain puts start of Pocono race on hold

August 05, 2012, David Caraviello,

LONG POND, Pa. -- The start of Sunday's Sprint Cup event at Pocono Raceway has been delayed because of rain.

Heavy rains moved in over the 2.5-mile facility shortly before the race was scheduled to begin. Although the precipitation soon slackened enough for NASCAR to send maintenance vehicles and jet dryers onto the racing surface, the start of the event was placed on hold. Drying a race track the size of Pocono is a process that typically takes at least a few hours.

Earlier in the day, NASCAR officials moved the start of the race up eight minutes in an attempt to get a jump on the weather. But right before driver introductions were scheduled to commence, the skies over Long Pond opened, and what started as a rainstorm quickly progressed into a deluge.

The Pennsylvania 400 became the third event of this Sprint Cup season to be affected by weather. In February, the Daytona 500 was pushed back a day for the first time in the event's history, and eventually run on a Monday night because of persistent rain. In March, the race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., was shortened to 129 laps after rain began to fall just after the event's halfway point.

Juan Montoya won the pole for the Pocono race in qualifying Saturday. Brad Keselowski is the event's defending champion.

NASCAR rescheduled driver introductions for 2 p.m. local time, but it was unclear at what time the race might start.