Race postponed by rain

After nearly five hours at a halt, yesterday's (Sunday's) NASCAR Winston Cup event at Atlanta Motor Speedway was postponed until today because of continuing rain. The racers had completed 39 of the 325 scheduled laps before rain began to fall, with the red flag coming just over half an hour into the event

Race postponed by rain

The completed laps will count, and the race will be resumed at 11am EST today (4pm GMT) with Kevin Harvick leading, Bobby Labonte second, and Bill Elliott third. Harvick took the lead from pole-winner Ryan Newman on the 14th lap and remained the leader through pit stops when caution came out for rain on Lap 34.

Rain fell in the morning but let up long enough to let the event begin on schedule, at 12:30 pm EST. The rain again appeared to let up mid-afternoon, and NASCAR began trying to dry the track, but the rain resumed. The track's lights were on throughout the day.

The Atlanta forecast is for rain overnight and into the morning, then clearing and cooler by midday.

Points leader Matt Kenseth, who needs to finish only 12th or better in the remaining four races to clinch the championship, started 37th and was 21st at the time of the halt.

This is the first Winston Cup race of the season postponed due to rain. Three races have been shortened, those being the Daytona 500 (109 of 200 laps), the May race at Richmond (393 of 400 laps) and the May race at Charlotte (276 of 400).

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