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Daytona 500 race delayed by downpour

A member of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet crew wipes water from pit equipment during a rain delay for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 26.

It may have been nearly 85 degrees in parts of Florida, but rain poured over Daytona, resulting in the first-ever postponement of the Daytona 500 race, the Associated Press reported.

As heavy rain soaked Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, NASCAR workers never had a big enough window to dry the track.

Rain saturated the famed speedway, sending fans scattering for cover. Puddles of water formed in parts of the infield, and many fans got drenched as they tried to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

NASCAR officials spent more than four hours waiting for a window to dry the famed track, but it never came. When the latest storm cell passed over the speedway around 5 p.m., they had little choice but to call it a day.

NBC Sports: First one-day delay in 54-year history of the race

The 500-mile race has been rescheduled for noon Monday, when the National Weather Service forecast showers and a high of 75 degrees. Officials are prepared to wait all day and into the night to avoid a Tuesday race, which would strain teams that must get to Phoenix for next week's race.


NOAA.gov issued a small craft advisory and reported light rain, punctuated by brief downpours through 8 p.m.  

The Weather Channel reported that Sunday's rain has been the result of a weak upper-level system and that it would rain on and off throughout the evening.

Follow more Daytona 500 coverage on NBCSports.com.