Rain pushes Chase race to Sun­day

The Washington Post Sunday - - CARS -

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.

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