Originally created 05/01/06

There will be Monday racing in Talladega



TALLADEGA, Ala. - Sunday's Nextel Cup Aaron's 499 was rained out and rescheduled for a noon start today.

The field of 43 cars, led by pole winner Elliott Sadler, ran three parade laps and were about to take the green flag when it started raining. After waiting through two showers, and with the threat of more rain on the way, NASCAR decided to push the race back.

Television coverage also moved. Instead of Fox, the race will be seen on FX, speedway officials said.

HALL RACE WAS NO RACE: Documents proved what officials in Atlanta and Daytona Beach, Fla., knew all along: NASCAR already favored Charlotte for its hall of fame and were using the other two cities to sweeten the deal.

According to The Charlotte Observer, guaranteed tax money generated by resort tax on hotel rooms won over NASCAR early in the selection process.

Atlanta officials increased their offer, but NASCAR finally awarded the hall of fame to Charlotte after it gave NASCAR an office building to house its public relations and marketing departments for an annual lease of $1 for the next century. Atlanta officials weren't surprised.

"It's basically old news," Richard Orr of Central Atlanta Progress told the Observer.

TALLADEGA NIGHTS: Will Ferrell gave the command to fire engines Sunday, but not before talking about his Aug. 4 movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

"It wasn't necessarily funny to us to extend what people might think the stereotypes are in the race world," Ferrell said. "It is a sports comedy. But at the same time, we wanted it to be outlandish with obviously fictitious characters in the racing world and still photograph the racing with the same intensity that you would find in a really dramatic racing movie."

REPAVING: Talladega was scheduled to start a repaving project today. Although that plan was delayed by the race postponement, it didn't end drivers' concerns.

"I'd write them a check for a thousand bucks to leave it," Mark Martin said of the patched-up track. "I'm sure every driver in here would probably scratch the same check. ... You don't need new pavement here."