Reading: Rain postpones event to October

The 19th annual Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway have been postponed due to inclement weather. The race will continue Oct. 3-5. One round of professional qualifying was completed Friday and those runs will count towards the ...

The 19th annual Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway have been postponed due to inclement weather. The race will continue Oct. 3-5.

One round of professional qualifying was completed Friday and those runs will count towards the rescheduled event. Qualifying will continue on Saturday, Oct. 4 with two professional qualifying sessions and final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5.

"The professional and alcohol cars one got in one run and it would be unfair to those teams in the points chase trying to compete for a championship to race tomorrow," said Graham Light, senior vice president of racing operations. "With the volume of activity we have to complete, it would be almost impossible to fit it into one day. The forecast also looks unfavorable with rain off and on tomorrow.

"We'll go to Memphis next weekend and Chicago after that and hope the weather will cooperate to give a fair shot to the race teams in early October when we come back to Reading."

The qualifying leaders for the professional categories are Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel, Tony Pedregon in Funny Car, Jeg Coughlin in Pro Stock and Shawn Gann in Pro Stock Bike.

"We're fortunate to be doing as well as we have been, especially in the last dozen or so runs," said Schumacher. " We are very focused on next year and trying to learn as much as we can about the car so we can compete for the 2004 POWERade championship. But you know what? It rained out in Indy two weeks ago and we came back last week to win the race. So, maybe the rainout will produce similar results. Even if we have to work twice as hard, it would be worth it if we can come away with another victory."

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 16th O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Sept. 18-21, at Memphis Motorsports Park in Millington, Tenn.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Tony Pedregon , Tony Schumacher , Shawn Gann