Weather forces Sunday doubleheader

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- With Talladega Superspeedway under a "high risk'' warning for severe weather and tornadoes, track activity has been canceled for Saturday.

The weather forced the cancellation of Sprint Cup qualifying, which means four-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will start on the pole as the field is set by points. The Nationwide race also was canceled.

A doubleheader is set for Sunday, with the Sprint Cup race scheduled to start on time at 1 p.m. ET. The Nationwide Series race will follow within an hour of the finish.

Jim Stefkovich of the National Weather Service said there is a better than 50 percent chance of severe weather Saturday in the speedway area. He said there is a high chance of strong tornadoes and hail.

"This is a very volatile situation unfolding,'' Stefkovich said.

NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said tickets for both races will be honored Sunday, noting the forecast is for clearing weather in the early morning.

It is the second straight week that weather has played havoc with the NASCAR schedule. A Cup-Nationwide doubleheader was held Monday at Texas Motor Speedway after rain canceled events Saturday and Sunday.

Fans at the track have been encouraged to "batten down the hatches'' and take the utmost precaution. The infield media center will be held open through the night as a shelter for the driver-owner lot if needed.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.