The Daytona 500 has been postponed by rain for the first time since 2012, dampening NASCAR’s season opener that started with a ballyhooed visit from President Donald Trump.
The race was postponed after two lengthy delays totaling more than three hours. The race will now begin at 4 p.m. Monday and be broadcast live on Fox.
It’s the second time in 62 years that “The Great American Race” will finish on a Monday.
The first delay of the day came moments after the presidential motorcade completed a ceremonial parade lap around the 2 1/2-mile track. Trump’s armored limousine nicknamed “The Beast” exited Daytona International Speedway, and the sky opened for a brief shower that forced drivers back to pit road.
The start already had been pushed back 13 minutes to accommodate Trump’s trip. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. eventually led the field to the green flag and was out front for the first 20 laps before heavier rain-soaked a racing surface that takes hours to dry.
NASCAR called drivers back to their cars around 6:40 p.m. EST, hoping to get more laps in before more showers hit again. Some drivers showed, but the heaviest rain of the day forced a postponement.