NASCAR has raced on the beach at Daytona, under the lights and even around a pothole, but has never raced on Monday – until now. The Daytona 500 was postponed Sunday for the first time in its 54-year history after heavy rain-soaked the Daytona Speedway.
NASCAR officials waited more than four hours for a window to dry the track. When the latest storm passed over the speedway around 5 p.m., they had little choice but to call it. The 500-mile race was rescheduled for 7 pm et. Monday. Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle line the front row.
Monday could be another test as the weather forecast calls for more rain and NASCAR officials are prepared to wait all day and into the night to avoid a Tuesday race, which would strain teams that must get to Phoenix for next week’s race.
Eight previous Daytona 500s have had rain delays, but never before had storms forced the event to be moved. The last shortened Daytona 500 was Matt Kenseth’s victory three years ago, when rain stopped the event 48 laps from the finish.
The Daytona 500 is the first of 10 scheduled Sprint Cup races this season for Danica Patrick, she will race for the Nationwide Series championship driving for JR Motorsports.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., the 2004 Daytona 500 champion, is takeing a 129-race losing streak into Daytona, his last victory was in 2008.