Rain Rules In Martinsville

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – A steady rain that moved across the Eastern United States postponed Sunday’s Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

The 500-lap race was rescheduled to Monday morning at 11 a.m. ET, and will be broadcast live on TNT. The NASCAR Winston Cup garage area will open at 7 a.m.

The race was supposed to start at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, but on-and-off showers dampened the track several times. At least four times, the track’s jet dryers would get the surface close to being race ready before more rain came down.

Finally, at 2:15 p.m. ET, NASCAR officials called the race with most of the grandstands full of fans waiting for the green flag.

The Old Dominion 500 is the second race this season to be delayed at least one day by rain. The Dura Lube 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. started on Sunday, Feb. 25 but was completed the following day. Steve Park, who is out with a head injury, won that race.

When the race is run, Todd Bodine starts from the pole, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. starting second. Winston Cup points leader Jeff Gordon will start third, with Dale Jarrett and Johnny Benson rounding out the Top 5.

Starting sixth through 10th are Ricky Craven, Joe Nemechek, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace and Dave Blaney. Stewart has been fast all weekend, and many expect him to be a leading contender.

Jarrett won at the .526-mile track in April, and he wouldn’t mind repeating.

“Nobody gave me a chance the first race, and we won it,” Jarrett said. “Why not try for two in a row there. It’s the same race car. Even though we won the race, you always feel like you can be better. Don’t know that I was the best car. I was the best car at the end of the race, and that’s what mattered. But there points in the race that I felt like Jeff Burton and Ricky were a little bit better than myself. We can improve on our handling just a little more. We can win again.”

Ricky Rudd, Jarrett’s teammate at Robert Yates Racing, wouldn’t mind a repeat of the April race, too, with one minor change. Rudd finished second to Jarrett in the Virginia 500 that day.

“I’d love to have a repeat,” Rudd said, “with us run No. 1 and him run No. 2. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings any.”

Rudd could use a victory to help get him closer to Gordon. With seven races remaining in 2001, Rudd is 237 points behind.

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