UPDATE: With storms forecast all afternoon, NASCAR is now planning to wave the green flag for the 54th Daytona 500 just after 7 p.m. ET on Monday. The race will still air live on FOX Sports.
Sunday's Daytona 500 has been postponed to Monday after several intermittent showers have come and gone, and the process of track drying was not completed. It marks the first time in the race's 54-year history that it has been postponed from the Sunday.
Rain interrupted the last race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but the race ran to its scheduled conclusion. Now, a deluge has hit Daytona, and there was no timetable set on when the race will be able to start. Several events were postponed (Watkins Glen, Atlanta, Chicago) last year to the Monday or Tuesday thereafter.
“It's one of those days, where it spits, then it stops, spits and stops,” NASCAR President Mike Helton told FOX earlier in the delay. “Hopefully this will be the last big cell we see. We want to run it today. But it needs to stop before we can begin the process of drying.”
The rainfall started before noon local time and although there has not been a heavy downpour, the track was completely wet approaching the scheduled green flag time of 1:29pm ET. Officials estimated around two hours to get the track in race-ready condition from the moment they started the drying process with jet-blowers.
Weather forecasts showed the chance of rain reducing into the afternoon before increasing again into the night, and hopes officials could get a window big enough to get the race in today were dashed.
There have been four occasions when the Daytona 500 has been shortened, the last in 2009 due to rain.