Rain post­pones Po­cono race un­til Mon­day

Cecil Whig - - & - By REID SPENCER

NASCAR Wire Ser­vice

— A per­sis­tent driz­zle and threat­en­ing weather forced NASCAR and Po­cono Race­way to post­pone the Axalta “We paint Win­ners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Se­ries race un­til noon ET on Mon­day when sun­shine is fore­cast. FS1 will broad­cast the race.

LONG POND, PA.

Light, mist­ing rain thwarted track-dry­ing ef­forts, and the race, sched­uled for a 1 p.m. ET start on Sun­day, was post­poned at 2 p.m. ET.

When the 14th Sprint Cup race of the sea­son gets the green flag on Mon­day, Brad Ke­selowski will lead the field to the start/fin­ish line, with Team Penske team­mate Joey Logano be­side him. Ke­selowski is a two-time win­ner this sea­son. Lo- gano, who led the se­ries with six vic­to­ries last year, is seek­ing his first win of 2016.

Rac­ing in his fi­nal Sprint Cup sea­son, Tony Ste­wart turned in his best qual­i­fy­ing ef­fort at an open-mo­tor track this year and will start sixth in the Axalta 400. Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing team­mates Kevin Har­vick and Kurt Busch, who joined their owner/driver in the top 10, will take the green from fourth and ninth on the grid, re­spec­tively.

Har­vick, the 2014 cham­pion, and Busch are first and sec­ond in the se­ries stand­ings at the mid­point of the 26-race reg­u­lar sea­son.

All four Joe Gibbs Rac­ing driv­ers also made the fi­nal round of knock­out qual­i­fy­ing on Fri­day and will start third (Matt Kenseth), fifth (Carl Ed­wards), 10th (Denny Ham- lin) and 12th (Kyle Busch). Each of the JGR driv­ers has at least one vic­tory this sea­son, all but guar­an­tee­ing en­try into the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which will de­ter­mine the se­ries cham­pion.

Chase El­liott and Ryan Blaney, the top two driv­ers in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year stand­ings, will start side-by-side in 13th and 14th, re­spec­tively.

GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR

Crew mem­bers push tires through the garage area dur­ing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Se­ries Axalta “We Paint Win­ners” 400 at Po­cono Race­way on Sun­day in Long Pond, Pa.

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