The Daytona 500 was postponed due to rain Sunday and will be run for the first time ever on a Monday afternoon.
Race officials desperately tried to dry the track in order to get the race in on Sunday, but Mother Nature was unwilling to cooperate. Instead NASCAR drivers will have to wait until noon on Monday to begin the Great American Race - the first time in the race's 54-year history that it was not completed on a Sunday.
And even Monday isn't a guarantee to get the race completed. There's a 60 percent chance of rain on Monday, but NASCAR hopes that the early noon start time will give them enough time to get the race in, even if it needs to be shortened.
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, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. 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.
The day delay puts extra pressure on drivers to keep their mental focus and be ready to compete after spending hours waiting around on Sunday. The race was expected to begin at 1 p.m. EST and was not officially postponed to Monday until shortly after 5 p.m. EST.
This is one of the toughest things for us drivers, Carl Edwards told reporters afterwards. You plan on it and get all geared up, then you put it off for a day and it's now who can really stay focused. But not just for the drivers. It's the pit crews and the crew chiefs, as well.
Heading into Sunday a lot of the attention was on Danica Patrick and it will be interesting to see whether she can compete in what could be a sloppy day of racing on Monday. The combination of rain throughout the day and NASCAR attempting to try off the tracks could leave for a slick track surface that could create accidents and a wild race.
The track is going to be green, Jay Ratcliff, the crew chief for Joey Logano, told ESPN. It could change dramatically until we get some rubber back on the track. We may see something more like what we saw in the Shootout than the 150s [qualifying races].
The race will be broadcasted on Fox at noon.