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Hurricane cancels activities at Dover

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2003

DOVER, Del. NASCAR didn't wait for Hurricane Isabel to throw the first punch. It decided Tuesday it would cancel all activities at Dover International Speedway today and Friday.

That came as good news, especially for the overwhelming majority of teams that are based in North Carolina and Virginia the projected target for Isabel.

Team haulers were supposed to leave for Dover on Wednesday and today. Now that the track won't open until Saturday, they will be able to remain at the shop until Friday morning a day after Isabel is supposed to make landfall.

''After listening to the latest forecast regarding projected weather conditions in Delaware and discussing contingency plans with state officials as well as officials at Dover, we felt it best to cancel on-track activities for Thursday and Friday,'' NASCAR president Mike Helton said. ''We will continue to monitor the situation, and hopefully no further adjustments will be necessary.''

The field for Saturday's Busch Series race and Sunday's Winston Cup Series race will be set by the car owner point standings. Both series will be allowed to practice on the one-mile oval Saturday morning.

NIGHT TRUCKIN': The Florida Dodge Dealers 250, the season-opening race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will move to prime time next year.

It is the second major race during SpeedWeeks at Daytona International Speedway to move under the lights. The Budweiser Shootout All-Star race made the move this year.

''Night racing has quickly become popular for both fans and competitors, and we're looking forward to the trucks in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 putting on a fantastic show under the lights,'' speedway president Robin Braig said.

The race will start at 8 p.m. and be televised live on Speed.

PIT STOPS: Jeff Green will drive the No. 43 Cheerios Dodge for Petty Enterprises at Dover International Speedway this Sunday, and regular driver Christian Fittipaldi will move over to a third team car, the No. 44 Bugles Dodge. ... Part of the overhaul at Homestead-Miami Speedway will include the installation of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barriers. The speedway was raised and replaced with a new design to promote more passing with steeper banking.

Reach Don Coble at doncoble@bellsouth.net.



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