TALLADEGA, Ala. Ä When NASCAR officials called the Winston 500 because of rain Sunday, it became the first Winston Cup race to be postponed since a blizzard hit Atlanta in March 1993.
NASCAR and Talladega Superspeedway officials waited until two hours after the scheduled start before postponing the Winston Cup race to today at noon.
The race will be televised on a tape delay basis by ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m.
A crowd of 150,000 had been expected, but the postponement to today should carve into that total.
More rain in the forecast today could force NASCAR to move the race to May 11, the next open Sunday on its schedule. The Winston Cup teams are slated to race next weekend in Sonoma, Calif., and the official must allow time for the team trucks to drive to the west coast.
The 1993 blizzard that paralyzed Atlanta and most of the South forced postponement of the Hooters 500. The next week on the schedule was open, however, so the cars came back to Atlanta and raced the next weekend.
The last true rainout of a Winston Cup event came in October 1992 at North Wilkesboro. That race was run the next day.
Talladega last suffered a postponement at the 1991 Winston 500, although last July's DieHard race was delayed by four hours because of rain and shortened to 129 laps due to darkness.
If the race starts today, John Andretti, 34, will be on the pole, seeking his first Winston Cup victory. Bobby Hillin, winner of the July 1986 Talladega race, will be on the front row alongside Andretti.