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UAW-GM Qualify Postponed


A steady rain Sunday forced NASCAR officials to postpone the UAW-GM Qualify 500 to Monday.

Hoping the weather might push through in time to run the race as scheduled on Sunday at Lowe's Motor Speedway, officials waited until two hours after the scheduled 1 p.m. EDT start to make the call.

The 500-mile event on the 1 1/2-mile oval was rescheduled for 11 a.m. Monday.

It is the first time in the 40-year history of the suburban Charlotte track that the fall race has been postponed. The last Winston Cup event postponed by rain was in April of 1998 in Martinsville, Va.

"The worst part about rain is the sitting around," said driver Ward Burton. "You can only play so many card games, tell so many jokes and take so many naps. You can only look up at the sky and shake your head so many times."

"NASCAR has the weather radar on the side of their transporter, and people will wear out a path to it. That `nice weather for ducks' joke gets pretty old pretty quick too."

Jeremy Mayfield, who finished third and second earlier this season in rain-shortened races in Darlington, S.C., said, "Rain at a racetrack isn't any fun at all. It's a bad deal for the teams, the fans and the racetrack. But there isn't a whole lot anybody can do about it."

But Mayfield prefers starting a race when the odds of finishing it are good, rather than having a race shortened by bad weather.

"In April, all we had to go was one more lap and we win the race. Jeff (Burton, the winner) was sitting there all torn up, and he couldn't have gone any further. If we'd gotten back to green, he was done too, and we felt we were the best car out there."

"The Southern 500, who knows? Jeff was good, but so was Ward and so were we. The sad part about that is there was going to be one heck of a shootout between those three cars at the end of that race."

When the 334-lap race does get underway, Bobby Labonte will be on the pole with Rusty Wallace alongside.

Dale Jarrett, who owns a 251-point margin over Labonte in the Winston Cup standings, will start ninth, while Mark Martin, who is third, 25 points behind Labonte, is fourth in the 43-car field.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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