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Daytona 500 pushed to Monday evening by rain

The 54th running of the Daytona 500 is set to be an unprecedented Monday evening race, after rain continued to foil attempts to get underway during the day.
Rain continues to affect the 54th running of the Daytona 500, with NASCAR forced to push back the scheduled Monday start time to 7pm ET (midnight GMT) at the earliest.

“We believe this is a reasonable expectation,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton, pointing to a number of forecasts that suggest that the rain is likely to clear up this evening after dark.

When storms forced NASCAR to postpone the race on Sunday for the first time in its history, the original hope was to get underway at noon on Monday. But continued persistent rain has made that impossible, and NASCAR have bowed to the reality of the situation and announced that the race will now not start until the evening.

"[Rather than] having everyone sit around and wait for several hours today up until the point where we're confident or have more confidence that we can run the race, [it] was more prudent to do it this way," said Helton.

The 7pm start time is a "best guess" at this point and it could be later if the rain is slow in clearing up or the track takes longer to dry off. The US broadcasters of the race, Fox Sports, are committed to showing the race live no matter what time it starts.

Everyone is fervently hoping that the race will run tonight and not roll over a second day but Helton confirmed that "Tuesday is an option before we'd have to reconsider packing up and leaving," even though "We're focused on today right now."

"We'll wait until the last possible minute that we would not run the race,” added the president of Dayton International Speedway, Joie Chitwood III. “We want to exhaust every opportunity of getting the track dry and running the race.”

There is considerable pressure to get the race run today, and not just because of the escalating costs of opening the Speedway and bringing in staff for a second extra day if the race is forced to roll over to Tuesday.

The biggest headache for NASCAR itself is getting teams and equipment across country to Arizona for next weekend's race at Phoenix. The haulers take two days just to make the distance and that's not including packing and setting-up time, and Nationwide and Sprint Cars are due on track early on Friday for the weekend's race activities.




Related Pictures

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One of the 10 International Speedway Corporation jet dryers at work on the drenched track at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars are covered on pit road as they await the start of the 54th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
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Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour ENERGY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 19, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour ENERGY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 19, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour ENERGY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 19, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour ENERGY 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 19, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Crew members for Jeff Gordon (not pictured), driver of the #24 AARP Member Advantages Chevrolet, work on their car after an incident in the garage area with Clint Bowyer (not pictured), driver of the #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images for NASCAR Media)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Sport Clips Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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SP3 - Unregistered

February 27, 2012 8:32 PM

@zoom, nobody runs on ovals in the rain. never have. sportscars only run portions of an oval (here in the States) so are set up completely differently that an 'oval-only' car. I am a huge nasscar hater but those whinging about this delay are talking out their asses. move along.



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