Nascar still watching where Isebel will hit land

Hurricane Isabel could wreak havoc with this weekend's NASCAR events at Dover International Speedway this weekend, and the sanctioning body is taking a wait-and-see approach to the impending storm. Winston Cup and Busch Series teams have been informed to hold off any impending travel plans until Tuesday.

"We have alerted the industry to sit tight as we learn more about the path of the hurricane," NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said. "Right now, we're monitoring the situation and will continue to monitor the situation as it goes further."

The sanctioning body has several contingency plans it could use should the situation warrant. One could be to allow the teams to travel later in the week, perhaps as late as Friday, and set the fields via the NASCAR rule book.

Zizzo said NASCAR will tell teams Tuesday what the next step should be.

Busch Series teams are slated to check-in at Dover Thursday morning at 10 a.m., and some teams were to begin travel Tuesday night. That is clearly in jeopardy.

Qualifying is set for Friday at Dover for both series, but National Weather Service forecasts put Isabel in the area sometime late Thursday or early Friday. Teams leaving from the Charlotte, N.C. would be driving through heavy winds and rain should the hurricane come ashore as forecast.

"It certainly looks like the area we go into this weekend around Dover is going to be impacted in some form or fashion by it," NASCAR president Mike Helton said Monday afternoon. "Beginning as early as last night, we started organizing game plans to react according to how Isabel reacts. We've got two, three different task forces working on it as we speak."

But Helton said NASCAR will have to watch which direction the hurricane decides to go.

"There's not much we can do today until we figure out what we're going to be faced with," Helton said. "The forecasts are talking about landfall somewhere late Thursday, even into maybe Thursday night. The next 36 to 48 hours, we'll just have to simply watch the path and try to predict where it's going to go, what kind of creation it leaves us to work with.

"Mainly right now we've got several plans in place. We're ready to react on any one of them. But certainly our intention is to try to get the events done this weekend."



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