Rain pushes Chase race to Sunday
concord, n.c. — The opening race of the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs was washed out by persistent rain Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The race was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon. It’s just NASCAR’s second rainout of the season, although several events this year were delayed because of weather.
Joe Gibbs Racing headed into the event trying to reclaim some of the momentum that was seized by reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick, who won last week at Dover to keep his title defense intact. JGR drivers Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth won the first two races in the opening round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
But the stakes are higher in Round 2, which includes races at Charlotte, Kansas and finally Talladega.
The field has been trimmed to 12 drivers, and JGR qualified all four of its cars in the top eight at Charlotte.
Kenseth and Kyle Busch will start on the front row, while Harvick will start 11th. Harvick is the defending race winner, and he used his Charlotte victory last year to coast into the third round of the playoffs.
A victory in a Chase race earns a driver an automatic berth into the next round.