Rain postpones qualifying at Watkins Glen

Bud Pole qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen has been postponed due to rain and will take place at 15:00 (BST) this afternoon (Saturday)

Rain postpones qualifying at Watkins Glen

Recurring rain showers made for a very slow start to the weekend. The first practice session was scheduled for 15:30 (BST)on Friday. Approximately only 10 drivers were able to put in laps before the rain started to fall just ten minutes into the session. The wet weather continued until just after 20:00 (BST), by which time NASCAR had announced the teams would get one hour of practice and postponed the qualifiying session.

Road racing ace Ron Fellows is one driver who will be eager to get the session underway this afternoon as he is hopeful of snagging pole position for the Watkins Glen race, it being the only Winston Cup round he competes in each season.

There will be one round of qualifying to set the 43-car field. Each driver will make one green flag lap to determine the top-36, the remaining seven spots will be set by car owner points.

Goodyear brought along "wet weather" tyres specifically designed for the 'dancing elephants' at The Glen. The problem appears to be that the tyres are unable to deal with very wet conditions. Although called rain tyres, they cannot be used in the same way that Formula 1 'wets' are used.

The tyres have grooved tread as opposed to the slick, smoother surface of regular Goodyear Eagles used in the dry. However, the rain too heavy for the tyres to be effective.

The afternoon practice finally got underway just before 21:00 (BST), but the rain returned after only 45 minutes. As a result of the interruptions, today's morning practice session will be shortened to run from 13:00 to 14:15 (BST) weather permitting, in order to give the teams more time to prepare the cars for the Bud Pole session.

There are fewer driver substitutions this weekend. PJ Jones will attempt to qualify the Number one Bell South Chevrolet for Team SABCO. The team has not yet announced a replacement driver for Kenny Irwin, who was killed at New Hampshire International Speedway last month. Team SABCO changed the car number from 42 to one in honour of Irwin.

NASCAR Busch Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender, Ron Hornaday, will take the wheel of Terry Labonte's Number five Kellogg's Chevrolet. Labonte is still recovering from injuries he received at Daytona International Speedway during the Pepsi 400 weekend.

Tom Hubert will sub for Jeremy Mayfield, who crashed heavily at The Brickyard last weekend and is recovering from a concussion, as well as bumps and bruises.

Brian Simo has been named as the driver in the Junie Donlavey number 90 Hills Bros. Coffee team car. He replaces former rookie driver, Ed Berrier, who left the team before Indianapolis. Finally, Boris Said will drive an entry for Spencer Motorsports.

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