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Rain forces reluctant NASCAR to drive in no-race zone

The circuit will compete on Mother's Day for the first time since 1986.

By BRANT JAMES
Published May 13, 2007


DARLINGTON, S.C. - The Mother's Day moratorium will be lifted today.

The Dodge Avenger 500 was postponed because of heavy rain at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, forcing the NASCAR Nextel Cup series to race at 1 p.m. today.

NASCAR has not raced on Mother's Day since 1986, when the all-star race in Atlanta was held before a sparse crowd. But there was never a hope of getting Saturday night's race in on time as showers began about four hours before the scheduled 7 p.m. start and increased in intensity until it was officially postponed about 9 p.m.

It was the second straight week that NASCAR drivers had to linger an extra day. The race scheduled for May 5 in Richmond, Va., was moved to Sunday because of rain.

Clint Bowyer will start on the pole with Greg Biffle, a two-time Darlington winner, on the outside.

NASCAR canceled the first day of a two-day Car of Tomorrow test that was to begin in Dover, Del., on Monday. The one-day session will be held Tuesday.

Hours before the scheduled start, NASCAR officials confiscated the mounting brackets on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 8 Chevrolet and had the team reattach the rear wing with new parts. Officials determined the wing had been improperly mounted.

Nextel Cup Series director John Darby told the Charlotte Observer that NASCAR officials are "a little sensitive" to the parameters set forth for the so-called "Car of Tomorrow."

"We have specific blueprints for all the parts on the car, " Darby said.