For the first time in the history of the Daytona 500, the race will run a day after it’s originally scheduled time. While the race has been delayed by an hour or two before, and even shortened due to rain (four times), it has never been postponed until the next day.
For those of you not familiar with why rain could delay a car race (cars, after all, do run in rain), the tires that are specifically designed for these stock cars have no tread, and therefore no grip in slick conditions. To top it off the cars also lack a basic necessity of driving in the rain–windshield wipers.
With pre-race ceremonies already completed by the scheduled race start time of 1:30 pm EST, the only thing the drivers and track officials have been waiting on is Mother Nature. Alas, at a little bit after 5pm, track and NASCAR officials called the race off until tomorrow, where it will start at noon EST, provided the weather cooperates.
NASCAR president Mike Helton was initially optimistic, hoping that the rain would stop and the track (which takes 2-3 hours to dry), would be ready for racing abut 5pm. “The Daytona International Speedway has every drying piece of machinery they’ve got across the country here today,” Helton added, “because we know that the fans at home and the fans here in Daytona want to see the race run, and we do, too. The sooner, the better.”
Unfortunately, all the state-of-the-art jet dryers in the country cannot help when Mother Nature decides against it. So, with the weather not cooperating, we will be forced to sneak peaks at NASCAR’s TrackPass (find your free 14 day trial at www.NASCAR.com!), or Lap-by-Lap, while our bosses are not looking. In fact, I wonder how many NASCAR fans will be calling in “sick” to watch tomorrow’s race…