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CUP: Severe Weather Blankets Talladega

With ominous clouds covering the horizon to the west and forecasters predicting dangerous weather later in the day, race officials announced the cancellation of all Saturday activities at Talladega Superspeedway early Saturday morning.

Saturday’s scheduled Aaron’s 312 Nationwide Series race was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon following the 1 :00 pm ET Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup race, creating a rare Talladega doubleheader. The Nationwide race is expected to start at about 5:30 p.m.

The weather forced cancellation of Saturday’s Sprint Cup qualifying, and the lineup for Sunday’s race was set using the NASCAR rule book.

Racing was a definite afterthought at the speedway Saturday morning as track and NASCAR officials wrestled with a menacing forecast that called for the likelihood of strong storms and wind and the possibility of exceptionally violent tornado activity in central Alabama.

Rain was falling in the speedway area early Saturday morning, and forecasts called for as much as five inches Saturday in some parts of central and eastern Alabama.

The biggest threat is wind associated with violent thunderstorms and tornadoes, and officials urged race fans camping in the area to avoid staying in tents and to seek shelter – in their vehicles if no other places are available – if strong storms develop.

Some drivers left the speedway area Saturday morning to return to their homes in North Carolina.

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEEDtv.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100 and e-mail him at Jensen is the author of “Cheating: The Bad Things Good NASCAR Nextel Cup Racers Do In Pursuit of Speed,” and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. Jensen is the past President of the National Motorsports Press Association and an NMPA Writer of the Year.

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