Kentucky Sprint Cup race postponed until Sunday due to rain

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Updated: 7/11/2013 2:59 pm

Sparta, KY (Sports Network) - Mother Nature won Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

Persistent rain at this 1.5-mile racetrack forced NASCAR officials to postpone the scheduled 400-mile event until Sunday at noon ET. It's the first time this season a race in NASCAR's premier series has been delayed one day. Three weeks ago, a Nationwide Series event at Iowa Speedway had to be put on hold a day due to inclement weather.

Rain began falling on the track well before the race was scheduled to go green just prior to 8 p.m. local time. The rain let up a couple of times in the evening, allowing for track-drying efforts. But another shower moved over the area just before 9 p.m. and therefore ended any hopes of running this event at night.

The weather might be a factor again on Sunday. According to the National Weather Service, there is a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms in the area during the afternoon.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the field to the green flag. Earnhardt set a new track qualifying record on Friday at Kentucky with a lap at 183.636 mph. The top-9 finishers in qualifying broke the previous record of 181.818 mph, set by Jimmie Johnson one year ago.

On Friday night, the Nationwide race at Kentucky was shortened by 30 laps due to rain. Brad Keselowski won the event. Keselowski also scored the victory in last year's Sprint Cup race here. He will start eighth.

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