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Rain Forces Daytona 500 To Pick Another Day

Daytona 500 Takes Back Seat to Rain

– Via Sporting News
NASCAR had the makings of a 2012 season opener for the ages.
It was coming off a 2011 season finale at Homestead that ended with the championship in a tie, with the race winner Tony Stewart capturing the title over Carl Edwards, who had finished the race in second.

It had changed the rules at Daytona International Speedway to eliminate the tandem drafting that fans raised hell about as drivers remained paired up the entire race without the dicey racing featured courtesy of pack drafting.

And it had the Cup debut of Danica Patrick, only the third woman to compete in the Daytona 500.

All that momentum was put on hold on a wet Sunday afternoon.

Intermittent rain showers throughout Sunday resulted in NASCAR’s postponing the Daytona 500—a history-making moment in itself as no Daytona 500 in the first 53 years of the event ever had to be pushed to a later date—to noon Monday.

The forecast for Monday isn’t much better than it was for Sunday. The National Weather Service predicts a 70 percent chance of rain until 30 percent after 6 p.m.

But whether it’s run Monday, Tuesday or a later date, the damage has been done. The crowd won’t approach the expected 180,000. The television numbers won’t break any records.

Instead, the 2012 Daytona 500 will be remembered at least in part for a day of frustration amid the rain.

“I will stay here all week to have a shot at taking that trophy home,” five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said. “We will just play it by ear. One thing about this track that is nice is even if it does rain, a green race track isn’t a problem here.

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