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NASCAR's 2021 Daytona 500 rain delay is far from the longest

NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway rain delay (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
NASCAR at Texas Motor Speedway rain delay (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Ted Fleming
EXPERT
Modified 15 Feb 2021
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NASCAR knows a lot about rain on raceday after what happened in 2020

Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean NASCAR can escape the wrath of Mother Nature.

Roughly 60 percent of events last year were affected by the weather one way or another, including the longest rain delay on record.

The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was the second race of the Round of 8 and was supposed to start on Sunday, October 25, but after 51 laps, there was a long wait before it was called off and moved to Monday at 10:00 am. The hope was to beat what was predicted later in that day. It arrived earlier than expected, and guess what? Another postponement.

After all the schedule modifications to get to this point of the season following the COVID-forced hiatus, NASCAR desperately wanted to get this race in. Monday became Tuesday at noon, but there was no escaping the neverending rain. By this point, pressure was starting to mount on NASCAR officials.

If Wednesday was lost, there was speculation they might just leave Texas Motor Speedway and find a way to get in the second of Round of 8 scheduled at another track. By this time of year, NASCAR had become experts in cramming races into a short window.

Kyle Busch. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 was finally completed on Wednesday, with Kyle Busch taking the checkered flag. The race officially took 3 hours, 42 minutes and 14 seconds, but for fans who kept tuning in each day to see some cars on the track, it seemed like an eternity.

In 2021, rain won't have much power over the seven road course races on the schedule. It all begins next week on the Daytona Road Course, the replacement for the canceled Auto Club Speedway over COVID-19 concerns. Unless the rain is heavy or there is lightning in the area, rain tired and windshield wipers are available. Those races consume about a fifth of NASCAR's 2021 schedule.

Published 15 Feb 2021, 10:46 IST
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