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Coke Zero 400 at Daytona postponed to tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. ET

Jul 5, 2014, 8:50 PM EDT

Steady rains this afternoon and early evening have forced NASCAR to postpone tonight’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. The 160-lap, 400-mile race will instead go off tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. ET with TNT and the Motor Racing Network retaining TV and radio broadcast coverage.

According to Daytona International Speedway, parking lots for fans attending the race will open at 7 a.m. ET and the gates to the track will open at 9 a.m. ET.

Inclement weather moved into the Daytona Beach region this afternoon and caused the track to deploy its Air Titan and jet dryer units. However, as the rain continued, the dryers were told to stop and the originally scheduled green flag time of 7:57 p.m. ET was quietly scratched.

During the 8 o’clock hour, drying resumed again along the 2.5-mile oval in the event of a break in the weather that might have enabled NASCAR to get the race in. But at that time, pessimism appeared to be setting in.

Before NASCAR made the call to postpone the race, its vice president of operations, Steve O’Donnell, admitted that the chances of racing tonight were “not looking good” on his Twitter account:

Additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. – who is seeking to become the sixth Sprint Cup driver in history to sweep both Daytona races in the same year – was starting to plan on racing tomorrow.

Finally, a little before 9 p.m. ET, NASCAR decided that enough was enough for tonight. However, tomorrow’s forecast from the National Weather Service also calls for rain, with showers and thunderstorms likely coming after Noon ET.

The Coke Zero 400 now becomes the fourth Sprint Cup event in 2014 to be impacted by rain. A six-hour rain delay pushed the Daytona 500 to primetime, while two rain delays marred the Food City 500 in March at Bristol Motor Speedway. Then, in April, the Duck Commander 500 at Texas was postponed to the following Monday.

This weekend alone, rain has played a major role at Daytona. Both Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series qualifying sessions were cut short, and the start of last night’s Nationwide race was delayed by almost two hours before it was ran in its entirety.

David Gilliland will be on the pole for tomorrow’s race.

  1. chad4208 - Jul 5, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    already been postponed until tomorrow at 11. great,,,screw up the indycar race… itll probably still be raining anyway….

  2. eswong999 - Jul 5, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    OH Boy! A morning race like the good – days when Nascar was fun to watch!!

  3. mbtampa - Jul 5, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    “Screw up the Indy Car race” lol. Son, NASCAR and USAC/CART/IRL have been going head to head for 50 years. Competition makes you step up.

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Jul 5, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Looks like I’ll only miss an hour of the race as I’m done working at 12.

    • eswong999 - Jul 5, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      Maybe they will run it on Monday so you can see all of it.

  5. rg72 - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Go back to running it late morning before the daily rain showers. About every three years, this thing gets delayed at the start and finishes well after midnight. You would think that NASCAR would understand the normal weather patterns in its own backyard. Apparently not.

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