It looks like NASCAR may benefit from the inclement weather at the Daytona 500.

Viewership has been down for the race over the past couple of years, as compared to the beginning part of last decade. That all could change Monday night with the event in primetime.

NASCAR President Mike Helton announced that the race is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET after it was supposed to start at noon.

The later start time could mean big ratings for Fox.

Last year, the race drew an 8.2 rating. It was an improvement from 2010, but not close to ratings of previous years. The Daytona 500 drew an 11.3 rating in 2006 when it was on NBC.

While the race is expected to start at around 7 p.m., it's possible it will start even later.

We hope to have 'Lady and gentlemen, start your engines,' at 7:02 and then warm up and go to green flag, said Helton. We believe this is a reasonable expectation.

If the majority of the race takes place during primetime, it is a near certainty that it will draw more viewers than it would have in the afternoon. It may also get higher ratings than if there was no rainout and it had aired on Sunday.

Helton is well aware that the change could actually work out well for the sport, saying, certainly you'd like to try to make some lemonade out of lemons.

The race will have its share of viewers no matter what time it begins.

Rain delay coverage of the race drew a 4.5 overnight rating on Sunday. That almost beat out the NBA All-Star game which drew 5.4 percent of households.

If the race can't be completed Monday night, it will be pushed to Tuesday.