Daytona 500 finally breaks down after 54 years - NASCAR postpone event due to rain
NASCAR was forced to postpone the Daytona 500 after heavy rain took over the track at the Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. This was the first time The Great American Race has been postponed in its 54-year history.
Cursing the heavens, race officials stood by for hours hoping for a window to dry the famed track but the opportunity never came. They lost all hope in the Sunday race when the latest storm hit the speedway. In the end, they had little choice but to call it off and reschedule the whole event.
Now, the 500-mile race has been rescheduled for Monday afternoon where it will be aired on Fox.
For 53 consecutive years the Daytona 500 was run on the day it was planned for but on Sunday Mother Nature threw a giant hammer at the Daytona 500 record, shattering it, which caused a monumental buzzkill for Daytona Speedweeks and its massive following.
Analysts suggest that the first-ever rainout of the race is more than just historic, it’s a little eerie too. The sheer number of talented veterans on the track that still haven’t won the Super Bowl of racing is quite strange.
Top class drivers like Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and many more are still without a win at the elusive Daytona 500. All thanks to Mother Nature, the motorsports world and the world in general will now have to wait to see Danica Patrick drive and perhaps dominate the Daytona 500.
“This is one of the toughest things for us drivers,” pole-sitter Carl Edwards said. “It's now who can really stay focused. That's not just the drivers, that's the pit crews, the crew chiefs, everyone, the officials. But I think we'll be just fine.”
Edwards should have checked the forecast for Monday before he said that because more rain is expected to fall. This will prove to be another test for drivers and fans. This time the officials are willing to wait all day and even all night to avoid pushing the race to Tuesday.
“The longer runway we have tomorrow to get in the Daytona 500, the greater the likelihood for us to start and finish the event on Monday,” said NASCAR’s spokesman Kerry Tharp. “There are certainly a lot of considerations that go into the start time decision, and we believe scheduling it for noon gives us the best opportunity for us to get the race in tomorrow.”
Prior to this saga, the Daytona 500 has endured delays eight times. The last came in 2009 but the event was eventually started on the same day. Hence, never before had storms forced to change the date NASCAR’s premier event.
“I think that's a pretty good record for NASCAR,” Edwards said. “They've been living right to have 53 of these and never have one postponed. That's pretty spectacular. ... I think NASCAR, they're doing the right thing, you know, not dragging this out.”