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NASCAR slow to embrace Air Titan dryer

Sun., Sept. 22, 2013


The forecast calls for rain in Louden, N.H., potentially soaking fans for NASCAR’s second straight Chase race, and adding the threat of a Monday finish.

Without lights at the 1.058-mile track, the rush could be for jet fuel dryers to wring out the asphalt and make it safe for drivers to complete at least half of today’s race before the sun goes down.

The possible weather interruption raises more questions about the status of NASCAR’s Air Titan, a state-of-the art system designed to blow the water out of every pesky weeper and reduce track drying time, perhaps up to 80 percent.

It’s stuck in Concord, N.C. Tracks have been slow to embrace the Air Titan, putting the machine on a Sprint Cup sabbatical since May.

Nationwide series

Rookie Ryan Blaney earned his first career NASCAR victory and another Nationwide Series win for Penske Racing’s No. 22 Ford, holding off Austin Dillon and surviving several late cautions to win Saturday’s 300-mile race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.

Blaney, who drives for Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski in the Camping World Truck Series, used his second start in the Mustang to claim the car’s 10th victory of 2013 and a season sweep at Kentucky. Keselowski drove the car to victory in June.

Blaney’s win included tense moments over the final 40 laps, from beating Dillon off pit road with a two-tire stop on lap 166 to reclaiming the lead from Dillon after losing it on the restart.

Matt Crafton was third, Hornish fourth and rookie Alex Bowman fifth in a Toyota.

Formula One

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix despite skipping the last section of qualifying.

Vettel already has a big lead in the Formula One drivers’ championship standings. He gambled on the last flying lap under the lights at Marina Bay to save a set of super soft tires for today’s race.

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton were third through fifth.

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