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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Rain postpones Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

Rain postpones Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The day race at Daytona International Speedway ended up at night.

And now the night race will go off during the day.

Steady rain forced NASCAR to postpone the Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. It's the second race at Daytona this year delayed by rain. The season-opening Daytona 500 was stopped for more than six hours because of rain and ended under the lights.

"We seem to have a little bad luck with the weather," said Joie Chitwood III, the track president. "We had it in February and we have it right now."

The Coke Zero 400 will start at 11 a.m. Sunday, about 14 hours after officials postponed the event. The forecast calls for more rain Sunday, but Chitwood said scheduling an early start gives NASCAR a "bigger window of time to get it in."

The race was supposed to start at 7:57 p.m. Saturday, but showers soaked the 2 1/2-mile superspeedway and forced officials to delay the green flag and eventually postpone the race.

This is the fourth Cup race affected by rain this season and the second to be postponed a day. Bristol also was affected by rain, and Texas was delayed a day.

Despite the latest washout, Chitwood does not want the race moved from its traditional Saturday night spot around the July Fourth holiday. The race has been run in that spot for 27 years, and prior to that, it went on the annual holiday itself.

Chitwood was reminded of what a rain-free event looked like as he watched a replay of last year's Coke Zero 400 during Saturday's delay.

"The crowd was fantastic and the weather was good and we gave the fans a heck of a show," he said. "I think July Fourth weekend is a great time."Rain postpones Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

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Ohio Sports

BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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