Sunday, February 26, 2012
Daytona 500 Postponed For First Time Ever; Starts 7pm Monday Night
After battling intermittent showers all day, NASCAR officials announced shortly after 5 p.m. local time that the 54th running of the Daytona 500 had been pushed back to noon Monday because of weather. Although NASCAR's showcase event had been shortened four previous times due to the elements, it had never been completely postponed -- until Sunday, when a gloomy forecast into the evening prevented any attempt at running the race under the lights.
The rescheduled event will air on Fox, and tickets will be available at the gate or the Daytona ticket office.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The start of Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 was delayed by persistent rain at Daytona International Speedway, endangering the event's streak of never being pushed back a day due to weather.
Light rain fell much of Sunday morning, but let up enough at one point for NASCAR officials to send jet dryers out on the track and revive hopes of the cars rolling off at the scheduled 1:29 p.m. local start time. But as pre-race festivities concluded, the heaviest rain of the day moved in, undoing the work the dryers had already done.
The dryers rolled back out on the track around 1:38 p.m. ET, but were pulled back off fewer than 10 minutes later.
"It's one of those days here in Daytona where it pops up and falls off and pops up and falls off," NASCAR president Mike Helton said on the Fox broadcast. "But as the day progresses, we think the chances of the pop-ups diminish quite a bit. Hopefully this will be the last big cell we see, and things will start falling apart, and we can get the track dry and go on and get finish and run the Daytona 500 today."