Rain postpones Michigan race to Monday

BROOKLYN, MI -- A steady rain on Sunday forced NASCAR to postpone the 3M Performance 400 Nextel Cup race until Monday.

With more rain in the forecast, though, there was the possibility that the drivers would not get on track again until Tuesday morning -- or even later.

``It's a situation that we sometimes have to deal with,'' NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. ``It's not fun for anybody but, first, we'll do everything we can to get the race in tomorrow. If we can't get it in Monday, we'll do everything we can to get it in Tuesday.''

The National Weather Service was calling for an 80 percent chance of rain on Monday, but dropping to 40 percent on Tuesday and to 30 percent on Wednesday, with scattered thunderstorms possible each day.

The Cup transporters are due in Bristol, Tenn., Thursday afternoon to set up for Saturday night's Sharpie 500.

The Michigan race is one of four remaining events scheduled prior to the start of the 10-race Chase for the championship.

Asked what would happen if the race could not be run this week, Poston said, ``Although we certainly hope to get it in, and plan to get it in this week, if we had to move it, the race would be scheduled for the weekend after Thanksgiving, making it the last race on the schedule.''

He said that would also make the Michigan race the final event of the Chase and the Sept. 16 event at New Hampshire International Speedway would become the 26th and final race of the regular season, instead of the start of the Chase.

Michigan is the fourth race postponed by rain this season. Saturday night events at Darlington and Richmond were both run on Sunday, while the Sunday Dover race was run on Monday.

The postponement, which came about 45 minutes after the scheduled 2:20 p.m. start of the 200-lap event, was a disappointment to everyone.

``You're all pumped up, no matter what happens in the morning,'' said Frank Kerr, crew chief for rookie David Reutimann. ``You're getting your stuff ready and getting prepared for the race.

``The weather has really let everybody down and it doesn't look much better for tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll get it in sometime.''

Eddie Wood, co-owner of Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, said everybody in the NASCAR garage has been through these situations before and knows what to do, no matter how frustrating the waiting.

``Everything in this garage, you adapt to,'' Wood said. ``Whatever happens right know, you adapt to. Or a minute from now. It makes no difference. If we have to stay here until Wednesday, if that's what the plan is, it's OK. We're here. You can't do anything about the weather, so you can make all the preparations so if they do get a window, we'll be ready to go.''