Daytona 500 faces potential weather delay: What happens if race is delayed or postponed?

In the high-stakes world of NASCAR, the decision to delay or proceed with a race is a critical one, often made at the eleventh hour in unpredictable weather conditions. 

As the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, approaches, here are key considerations and fast facts about the impact of inclement weather on this prestigious event.

Typically, the process of drying the track at the Daytona International Speedway takes approximately 90 minutes. According to NASCAR regulations, the track must be completely moisture-free for racing to resume. This stringent requirement stems from the fact that the race cars participating in the Daytona 500 have tires without treads. Even a few drops of moisture could result in these cars losing traction and potentially spinning out on the track.


NASCAR, in its efforts to maintain safety standards, aims to avoid races extending beyond midnight. Recent events have underscored the flexibility required in scheduling. 

"We saw a couple of weeks ago at the Clash at the Coliseum; it was moved up a whole day. That had never happened before, and I don't expect that to happen with a points race, especially a race as important as the Daytona 50," said FOX Sports NASCAR pit reporter Jamie Little.  "So we basically watch what's happening. NASCAR tries to move up a race – maybe 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there – but they're going to do their best."

Greg Engle, NASCAR writer at, agrees that it is highly unlikely the race will be moved up a day.

"It would not surprise me if they announced before that, ‘We’re going to postpone until Monday,' so everybody doesn’t come down here."

The NASCAR officials closely monitor weather conditions and strive to balance safety and maintain the integrity of the competition. 

The Daytona 500, known for being occasionally postponed, has seen its fair share of rescheduled events, often pushed to the following Monday.

In the event of a weather-related delay this weekend, the Daytona 500 is tentatively scheduled to take place on Monday, starting at 4 p.m. Monday is a holiday for many, potentially allowing a broader audience to witness the iconic race.