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Saturday a washout at Talladega

Nationwide and Sprint Cup to run Sunday
Saturday, April 24, 2010

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The threat of approaching severe weather forced officials from NASCAR and Talladega Superspeedway to cancel Saturday's schedule, including Sprint Cup qualifying and the Aaron's 312, setting up the possibility of 800 miles of racing in a Sunday doubleheader.

While the lineup for the Aaron's 449 will be set by the NASCAR rule book, the Nationwide Series race will now be run Sunday afternoon, immediately following the conclusion of the Cup race. Even though the track does not have lights, Nationwide Series director Joe Balash said Friday local sunset is about 7:30 p.m., which should provide for enough time to complete both events.

Start time for the Aaron's 499 is 1 p.m. ET on FOX. According to the track release, fans holding tickets to the Nationwide race will be allowed to watch both events in unassigned seating. The Nationwide race now will be on ESPN2.

After a morning meeting with forecasters from the National Weather Service, the track issued an announcement explaining the decision.

"In the interest of fan safety, all activities scheduled at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday have been postponed due to the significant threat of extended periods of severe weather," according to the release. "This decision was made based on advice from the National Weather Service and the Talladega County Emergency Management Agency. Fans are strongly encouraged to take necessary precautions to ensure their safety, especially those guests camping on speedway property."

According to several reports, fans staying in tents are being asked to take them down for safety reasons.

The area was hit with a severe thunderstorm early Saturday morning, and at least two more major systems were expected to move in from the west, forcing officials to make the call. A tornado watch is currently in effect for 29 central Alabama counties, including Talladega County.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson will start from the pole on Sunday, with Matt Kenseth sharing the front row. Terry Cook and Aric Almirola did not make the field, which was set by owners' points, previous wins and attempts.

Fans who want to witness more than 800 miles of back-to-back, high-speed action at Talladega but who have not yet purchased their tickets can still do so by calling 877-Go2-DEGA or visiting one of the ticket booths on site. Gates open at 8 a.m. local time.

Lineup

POS

CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED
1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's N/A
2 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Valvoline N/A
3 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M N/A
4 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil N/A
5 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont N/A
6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Pedigree N/A
7 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / Amp Energy N/A
8 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar N/A
9 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite N/A
10 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet GoDaddy.com N/A
11 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express N/A
12 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot N/A
13 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Old Spice Matterhorn / Office Depot N/A
14 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T N/A
15 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac N/A
16 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Haas Automation / Office Depot N/A
17 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts N/A
18 98 Paul Menard Ford Turtle Wax / Menards N/A
19 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull N/A
20 82 Scott Speed Toyota Red Bull N/A
21 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker N/A
22 9 Kasey Kahne Ford Budweiser N/A
23 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Insignia / Best Buy N/A
24 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Tums N/A
25 12 Brad Keselowski Dodge Penske Racing N/A
26 6 David Ragan Ford UPS N/A
27 19 Elliott Sadler Ford Stanley / Bostitch N/A
28 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota Bush's Best Baked Beans / Kingsford N/A
29 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Penske Truck Rental / AAA N/A
30 00 David Reutimann Toyota Alabama NCAA Nat'l Champions / Aaron's N/A
31 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies N/A
32 71 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com N/A
33 38 Kevin Conway* Ford Extenze N/A
34 34 Travis Kvapil Ford Long John Silver's N/A
35 37 Robert Richardson Jr. Ford Mahindra Tractors N/A
36 26 David Stremme Ford Air National Guard N/A
37 09 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Phoenix Construction / GracewayPharmaceuticals N/A
38 7 Robby Gordon Toyota Monster Energy N/A
39 36 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Baldwin Automotive N/A
40 13 Max Papis Toyota GEICO N/A
41 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota FrontRowJoe.com N/A
42 66 Dave Blaney Toyota Prism Motorsports N/A
43 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron's 55th Anniversary N/A
44 46 Terry Cook* Dodge Whitney Motorsports / Autism Speaks.org -
45 135 Aric Almirola Chevrolet Mohawk Northeast

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