Brad Keselowski will start on the pole after heavy rain forced NASCAR to cancel qualifying for Sunday’s race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The track got steady rain all morning Friday and again in the early afternoon after a brief break, forcing NASCAR to scrap practice and qualifying in Las Vegas for the first time. The speedway urged fans to take cover from rain, high wind and lightning when the afternoon storm broke over the desert north of the Strip.
“I was just thinking when I walked in, with this being Vegas and all, what the odds would be of a rainout in Vegas,” Keselowski said. “I bet that was pretty high.”
Sunday’s field will be set by points and the NASCAR rule book, giving the pole to last season’s Sprint Cup series champion. The top 36 spots are set by owners’ points from last year, with the rest filled out by points or qualifying attempts.
“That’s a really good deal,” said Keselowski, the first-time champ. “It’s one of the perks, I guess, of being the (2012) champion in the first few races (this season). This is the first time I’ve had a decent starting position in a rainout.”
Mike Bliss will miss the race because of the cancellation of qualifying.
Keselowski will be on the front row alongside Clint Bowyer, last season’s second- place finisher. Daytona 500 champion Jimmie Johnson and teammate Kasey Kahne will be in the second row.
Patrick hit in head on dirt track
Danica Patrick says she’s fine after getting hit in the head by a rock on the Las Vegas dirt track.
Patrick got smacked by a stray rock while attending a race Thursday night, leaving her with a sore head. She had a brief conversation with medical staff Friday, but felt no problems.
Patrick says the rock hit her “straight in the head,” and she’s glad she had a hat on or “there would have been blood.”
Allmendinger set for 2 IndyCar races
Eight months after failing a NASCAR drug test and losing his job on Roger Penske’s Cup team, AJ Allmendinger was rehired by Penske to drive in two IndyCar races this season – including the season’s biggest race, the Indianapolis 500.
Allmendinger got the series title sponsor, IZOD, as his primary sponsor and will drive the No. 2 car that won the pole last year for an owner who has won a record 15 Indianapolis 500 titles.