Daytona 500 Start Time: Latest Update on Weather Delay

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Cars sit covered on the grid during a rain delayed start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 26, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

With the 2012 Daytona 500 delayed because of Mother Nature’s fury, the NASCAR fans are desperate to know when they will be getting their Sunday action.


UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 27, 10:23 a.m. ET by Donald Wood

After hours of radar watching and playing weathermen, NASCAR officials finally announced that the continuing rain at Daytona will push the event back to 7 p.m. ET on Monday, February, 27.

NASCAR Insider Bob Pockrass is reporting on twitter:

After being the first Great American Race postponed ever, the hope was to get the race in starting at noon, but racing under the lights is cool enough for the fans to be patient and endure the wait.


UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 27, 10:15 a.m. ET by Donald Wood

The Daytona 500 has been rescheduled to Monday February 27 for the first time in history, but NASCAR has the official word about what will happen today coming via an announcement at 10:15 a.m.

NASCAR Insider Bob Pockrass is reporting on twitter:

With more bad weather on the horizon, the serious questions and delays that plague Sunday’s plan may force this into the late hours of the night or even Tuesday. NASCAR does not want that.


Update: Sunday, Feb. 26th at 5:40 p.m. ET

For the first time in the history of the Great American race, it will be postponed until the next day. The rain subsided for a bit, but it cranked back up, and race officials threw in the towel. 

The race is scheduled for noon ET tomorrow, but the weather forecast isn't looking much better.

Daytona 500 postponed for the first time in history--rescheduled for tomorrow at noon; weather won't be much better

— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) February 26, 2012


All the rain in the world can’t stop the party on Daytona Beach, but it can cause the drivers to hold the phone and possible even push the Great American Race to Monday for the first time in history.

The race was scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. ET, but the local weather stations in Florida are calling for rain for the majority of the evening.

This is a financial train wreck for NASCAR, who has billed the Daytona 500 as their Super Bowl. For comparison purposes, let’s imagine the Super Bowl being cancelled and moved to Monday afternoon while fans were at work.

That’s why this is so bad.


What They’re Saying

NASCAR president Mike Helton told the Chicago Tribune about what’s happening now and what the next steps are:

We are prepared to turn on the lights if we have to. Once we go through our standard pre-race schedule, we will make a call if weather is still an issue, which looks likely. It's one of those days here in Daytona where it pops up and falls off and pops up and falls off. But as the day progresses, we think the chances of the popups 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 run the Daytona 500 today.

Former ECW and WWE announcer Joey Styles just can’t wait to see WWE superstar John Cena wave that green flag. Styles just wants to see Cena Rise above Rain:

NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was already nervous about his first Daytona 500, but the rain delay is making the pressure even more intense:



DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  A NASCAR official stands on the grid during the national anthem as it rains prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 26, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Unfortunately for the people of NASCAR and for the fans at home that made a spectacle of the day, I don’t see them getting this race in today. Put away the chicken wings and star practicing your fake cough.

If this weather continues, Monday just became a NASCAR holiday.

The radar continues to show that Daytona will be getting rain for the next few hours at least, so there is no reason for me to believe that they will get this race in on Sunday. They will try, but Mother Nature wins every time she plays her hand.


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