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Daytona 500 weather update - 7 PM Start UPDATE #4 NASCAR President Mike Helton said Monday morning that the start of the Daytona 500 has been postponed until 7 p.m. ET tonight. FOX will televise the race live.

02/27/12 According to weather.com, the forecast at Daytona today is a 65 percent to 100 percent chance of rain up until 3 p.m. ET. At 3 p.m., the chance of rain drops to 30 percent and then down to 20 percent at 6 p.m.

Given that it takes a minimum of two hours to dry the 2.5-mile track, it would seem unlikely that the Daytona 500 could begin before 5 p.m. at the earliest.

Track President Joie Chitwood III said late Sunday that the track would do everything it could to get the race in today instead of Tuesday.

“We'll wait till the last possible minute that we would not run the race,” Chitwood said. “We want to exhaust every opportunity of getting the track dry and running the race. I would anticipate 5:00, 6:00, if there was rain on the track, you will see us play out some decisions. I don't even want to talk about Tuesday right now.”

02/26/12 The weather forecast now shows a gap in the weather between 1 PM and 5 PM.  The chance of precipitation between those hours is now 10% so the race could still run today.

02/26/12 The updated weather forecast looks iffy for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday Feb 26th where the green flag will is scheduled to wave at 1:29 PM Eastern Time. The National Weather Service is calling for rain, mainly after 10am. High near 64. East northeast wind between 10 and 15 mph with a chance of precipitation is 80%. DIS does have lights so it could run Sunday evening but would rather not against the Oscar's. Monday doesn't look much better with a forecast of showers and possibly a thunderstorm with a chance of precipitation is 80%.

In 53 previous Daytona 500's, only four have been shortened by rain:
1965 won by Fred Lorenzen, ran 129 laps for 322.5 miles
1966 won by Richard Petty, ran 198 laps for 495 miles
2003 won by Michael Waltrip, ran 109 laps for 272.5 miles
2009 won by Matt Kenseth, ran 152 laps for 380 miles

02/25/12 Weather forecasters are calling for a chance of rain for Sunday’s Daytona 500. The 500 has never been rained out but was shortened by rain in 2003, when Michael Waltrip won his second 500 in three years and in 2009, when Matt Kenseth won.  The forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of rain Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.
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