The Race is Off

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INDIANAPOLIS: There was no joy at Indy on Monday as a second straight day of rain forced another postponement of the 81st running of the Indianapolis 500. In the early lead was Tony Stewart, last year's rookie of the year, trailed closely by pole-starter Arie Luyendyk. Skies were clear Monday morning, but after just 15 laps a fresh dose of rain brought out the red flag and sent the cars back to the pits in the order they were running. With rain still falling a few hours later, chief steward Keith Ward made the official announcement and the cars were returned to their Gasoline Alley garages. The 200-lap race is scheduled to continue Tuesday. Monday's attempt began 14 minutes late because of a crash on the pace lap involving Stephan Gregoire and rookies Affonso Giaffone and Kenny Brack. No one was hurt. This year's delay is only the ninth rain postponement in the race's history. The last time, in 1986, showers on Sunday and Monday resulted in the race being run the following weekend.