Qualifying axed due to hurricane threat

NASCAR has decided to cancel Friday's qualifying session for this weekend's Winston Cup race at Dover Downs Raceway, because of the threat of Hurricane Isabel

Qualifying axed due to hurricane threat

The storm is due to hit land on the North Carolina coast on Thursday evening and then move northward towards the Dover track in Delaware throughout Friday. Because of this, local authorities would need to prioritise emergence preparation and response, rather than controlling the large race crowds.

"After listening to the latest forecast regarding projected weather conditions in Delaware and discussing contingency plans with state officials as well as officials at Dover [Downs], we felt it best to cancel on-track activities set for Thursday and Friday," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "We will continue to monitor the situation, and hopefully no further adjustments will be necessary."

The line-up for the race on Sunday has been made according to owner points and procedures, putting runaway points leader Matt Kenseth on pole. It will be the second time he's started from the front this season - both due to the cancellation of qualifying.

Six entrants can now skip the trip to Dover, having missed the grid on all of NASCAR's criteria. Scott Wimmer, Morgan Shepherd, Billy Bigley, Christian Fittipalsi and Tim Sauter will all miss the race.

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