Daytona 500 Set for 7:00 pm Start
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA — For the first time in its 54-year history, the Daytona 500 was postponed until Monday.
By late morning NASCAR was forced to push the scheduled start of the race from noon until 7:00 eastern this evening. It will be the first time the Daytona 500 has run under the lights.
With the race next Sunday running in Phoenix, NASCAR has a logistics problem. If Monday is a rain out and the race is run on Tuesday, teams and officials are challenged with moving the show out west with very little time to do it. Many of the smaller teams would be forced to return to their North Carolina shop and load up for the Phoenix race over two thousand miles away. With the first Sprint Cup practice set to go off on Friday at 12:30 MST, that's a thin window of travel to get cars, crews and officials offloaded and ready to go.
Running the race tonight is a great option. It lets teams get back to the shop before Tuesday morning and turn west by mid-day. Not the best situation but certainly better than a Wednesday trip.
With all the rain yesterday and today race teams will be challenged to prep their race cars for a green track. Look for NASCAR to have an early caution to allow teams to check tires and adjust accordingly.
During Sunday's rain delay, CBS took a look back at the history of the Daytona 500.