Storm cancels Chicagoland qualifying

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JOLIET, Ill. --- With a line of strong storms moving through the area, NASCAR officials canceled Thursday night's Sprint Cup series qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway.

The field for Saturday's race was set according to car owner points, putting series points leader Kyle Busch on the pole position and Dale Earnhardt Jr. alongside him on the front row.

Greg Biffle was fastest in the first practice session Thursday afternoon, with a lap of 179.748 mph.

DEI APPEALS: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will appeal the $100,000 fine, six-race suspension and 150-point penalty when Martin Truex's No. 1 Chevrolet failed inspection last week at the Daytona International Speedway.

Truex's roof was too narrow, NASCAR said.

The team will try to make a case with the National Stock Car Commission saying the problems were unintentional and that the sanctions were too severe.

The penalty dropped Truex from 14th to 18th in the Sprint Cup Series standings. He's 238 points from 12th place, the final cutoff spot for the Chase for the Championship.

Until the appeal is heard, crew chief Kevin Manion is not allowed to work with the team. He and car chief Gary Putnam were suspended for six races.

PIT STOPS: Jack Daniels isn't going with Tony Stewart's new race team next year, car owner Richard Childress said. The liquor company has a contract to remain with Childress next season, he said, and there are no plans for a change. ... TUMS is giving a race fan the chance to be the grand marshal for the Oct. 19 race at the Martinsville Speedway. Fans are asked to submit an essay at TUMSRacing.com, and the winning entry will give the command to start engines.

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