DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The National Weather Service is predicting more rain for the Daytona area on Monday, which will hamper NASCAR's plans to run the postponed Daytona 500.
A 90 percent chance of rain and thunder showers is in the forecast until 6 p.m. this evening before the percentage drops to 30 percent tonight.
NASCAR president Mike Helton announced the sanctioning body has made the decision to push the hoped for 12 Noon ET start back to 7 p.m. Monday evening.
"Through the evening and as we collaborated this morning with all the stakeholders, (Daytona president) Joie (Chitwood) from the racetrack, weather experts and other industry folks, including the broadcast partners and other representatives, based on the weather forecast that everybody has convinced us of from here through mid-afternoon, 60, 70, 80 percent chances of rain, we're going to wait in announcing right now that the effort to run the Daytona is now shifting from noon until 7:00 p.m. this afternoon," said Helton. "So we hope to have "lady and gentlemen, start your engines," at 7:02 and then warm up and go to green flag."
The unprecedented rain out the 500 for the first time in 34 years has thrown a monkey wrench into the start of the NASCAR season. In addition to the disappointment of having the first race of the year washed out - and the most prestigious - logistics of the Sprint Cup schedule are also a factior.
The series is slated to compete at Phoenix International Raceway next weekend making turnaround from a Monday - or possibly Tuesday race - difficult.