Atlanta qualifying rained out

Rain Takes Away Possible ASA Pole for Middleton HAMPTON, Ga. (October 28, 2004) -- It looked really good for Jay Middleton to win his second Jani-King pole of the season, at least for awhile. The fourth car out in qualifying, Middleton posted a...

Rain Takes Away Possible ASA Pole for Middleton

HAMPTON, Ga. (October 28, 2004) -- It looked really good for Jay Middleton to win his second Jani-King pole of the season, at least for awhile. The fourth car out in qualifying, Middleton posted a fast lap of 33.797-seconds (164.038 mph) and then had the long, agonizing wait as the other drivers took their shot on the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway.

That was until the 27th qualifier, Matthias Czabok, completed his two laps. What started as a light rain turned into a heavy downpour and officials quickly lost the track. Now Middleton had to endure a lengthy weather delay, at least until ASA officials were forced to call off qualifying and lineup the cars by current owner points.

The decision moved Middleton from a possible front row starting position to the 19th position and put Kevin Cywinski on the pole for Friday's World Financial Group 150, the fourth time this season he has been on the pole thanks to a qualifying rainout. Reed Sorenson will start on the outside, followed by Bryan Reffner, Mike Garvey, and Butch Miller rounding out the first five starters.

All the drivers in the championship points chase will start in a pack, making the 150-kilometer event even more dramatic as the 2004 title comes down to the wire. The top seven drivers are separated by just 169 points, and with a total of up to 205 points on the line, it is still anyone's championship to win -- or lose.

Starting positions six through 10 are Tim Sauter, Robbie Pyle, and then a group of rookies including Brett Sontag, Stephen Leicht and Wade Day.

Middleton's best lap never jeopardized the 1984 track record of Alan Kulwicki who toured the then 1.522-mile oval in 32.609-seconds (168.027 mph). Since then, the track has been reconfigured to a quad-oval and lengthened to 1.54-miles.

The schedule for Friday remains the same, meaning the teams will have no additional practice time prior to the running of the World Financial Group 150. All 38 cars on the premises will start the event.

Mark Martin, in his first race with the ASA National Tour since 1996, will grid in the 35th starting position.

The World Financial Group 150 will take the green flag at 9 p.m. EDT and will be Webcast live on www.ASAracing.com powered by Yahoo! Sports. Tickets are still available and can be obtained by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or simply walking up to the track ticket windows.

The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series, and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.

- www.asaracing.com -

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Series Stock car
Drivers Tim Sauter , Bryan Reffner , Reed Sorenson , Brett Sontag , Mike Garvey , Stephen Leicht , Mark Martin , Alan Kulwicki