DAYTONA, FLORIDA (TICKER) -- NASCAR decided on Friday to cancel qualifying for Saturday's Nextel Cup Series Pepsi 400 race due to inclement weather.
Of the 53 cars in the field, 14 had yet to qualify before the rains came, forcing the stoppage of the event.
Boris Said was leading the qualifying session after clocking 185.605 miles per hour in a Ford Fusion. But because of the cancellation, the field for Saturday's race will be set by virtue of the points standings.
"I'm disappointed," Said said. "The biggest loss is that we had a chance to be in the Bud Shootout again. That would've been a pretty big thrill. We put so much work in this car, and now we have the most expensive show car ever built."
Points leader Jeff Gordon will start from the pole position in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, while Denny Hamlin will begin on the outside of the front row, also in a Chevrolet.
Gordon felt sympathy for the drivers who would have qualified but now will watch from the sidelines.
"I really feel upset for those guys who were outside of the top 35, especially guys like Boris, who put up such a great effort," Gordon said. "It was pretty exciting to see him running as good as he did here last year. So I know they are disappointed. It's unfortunate that you can't control Mother Nature and the rules are the rules."
Hamlin empathized as well.
"That's got to be tough," he said. "Believe me, myself, I would rather we qualify and I end up 30th or 35th and let those guys do what they earned than back into a second-place start like we did today. It's really not worth it to me because we know what all those other teams are going through just trying to make these races."
Matt Kenseth starts third in a Ford, while the Chevys of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton and Tony Stewart round out the top six.
Updated on Friday, Jul 6, 2007 8:53 pm EDT
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