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Rain out a game, not another race

What does Mother Nature have against racing this year?

It’s rained on NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCars and Formula 1. A lot.

We’ll keep using the queen of weather’s first name — Mother — but Nature will be replaced with you-know-what if it rains on NASCAR this weekend.

The latest call of nature is for “waves of dangerous thunderstorms and heavy rain at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama Friday night through Saturday evening, according to AccuWeather.com.

“The thunderstorms will bring the risk of damaging wind gusts, flash flooding, large hail, and even a tornado.”

A tornado? And that’s not a reference to food products made by Ryan Newman’s new sponsor.

NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying and practice is slated for Saturday along with the Nationwide Series race.

There is a chance of rain for Sunday’s Cup race.

Why can’t Mother pick on baseball for a while?

More than 2* weeks since opening day in Major League Baseball and there hasn’t been a single postponement in the majors, The Associated Press reports.

Not since 1985 has baseball gone this long into a season without losing a game to inclement weather.

It’s time to give racing fans who travel to races a break.

Good deal for Kurt … he’s going global

Kurt Busch’s shift from beer to The Shell Oil Co. beginning in 2011 takes him global for Penske Racing. And a new five-year contract is making Kurt feel pretty good.

It was announced this week that Busch’s sponsor next year at Penske Racing will switch from Miller Lite to Shell/Pennzoil, and his car number will become 22. Teammate Brad Keselowski will move into the No. 2 Miller car.

And on Friday, Busch said he has signed a five-year contract extension with Penske.

Here are some quotes from Busch’s press conference Friday at Talladega:

“I knew that I was committed through 2010 and 2011’s option was picked up by Roger (Penske). So what that meant was a perfect opportunity to talk about what the future could bring; not just 2011, but 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and beyond. We started with just a light-hearted sit down at a dinner one night, almost like one of those napkin sketches of, ‘Hey, this is what I’d like to see and this is what might happen.’ Then this (Shell/Pennzoil) opportunity just came up a few weeks ago and it changed the whole landscape that we ended up with. …

“It definitely crossed my mind to work with Roger on a lifetime-type deal. This program presented itself … and it happened at such a quick time frame that it didn’t allow time to develop any further. It was almost like (Roger said), ‘Hey, you going with me? I’ve gotta go make this happen. It was a situation that I felt very comfortable with; I now know Roger for working with him the last five years. I definitely look to have my career end here at Penske Racing; hopefully that’s 10-15 years down the road. Being only 31 years old, there’s still so much potential, blue sky, and so much fun that we can have together. I look at the business-to-business relationship as being an important factor in signing with Roger. …

“One of the prerequisites from Shell was that I would be driving the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge in 2011. That was really the only option that they gave us. So it didn’t fit for Brad. It didn’t fit for Sam. It’s not my place to say who we were up against, competing (for the deal). The names that were in the mix, it was a really powerful group. And for them to side with us and to commit to Roger and myself makes me feel very special. It’s humbling in one sense because (Shell is) such a big organization, globally known and recognized. Just talking with some of their executives over the phone, it has all the potential in the world to be one of the biggest programs that we’ve seen in Cup in some time.”

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