Rain, rain go away, Daytona 500 racers are out to play!
The rain did let up, but only 6 hours, 21 minutes, and 41 seconds after the red flag was posted. The severe weather put both racers and spectators in danger, prompting authorities to stop the race and wait for the track to dry.
The race was halted after the 38th lap. The red flag stayed on for more than six hours, after which a caution flag signaled the resumption of the event at 8:36 p.m. The green flag was finally dropped at 8:53 p.m., during lap 46.
— Daytona IntlSpeedway (@DISupdates) February 24, 2014
The Daytona International Speedway had tweeted a weather alert earlier, advising spectators to clear the grandstands, secure items at campsites, and take other necessary precautions. When the red flag was up, the track flashed warnings to fans, alerting them to take cover.
Racing authorities are now being extra careful about the safety of both racers and fans after a fatal incident in 2012, during a race at Pocono Raceway. At 4:12 p.m. on August 5, a severe weather warning was issued, but spectators did not evacuate the stands until the race was stopped by NASCAR at 4:54 p.m. A few minutes later, a lighting strike hit the parking lot, killing a fan. Nine more were injured.
While the racers and fans of the Daytona 500 waited out the rains on Sunday, a replay of last year’s race was aired on Fox Sports. The season opener rerun showed Jimmie Johnson winning the event, and thousands of viewers mistook this as this year’s race.
— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) February 23, 2014
The network ran a “replay” crawl at the bottom of the screen, but many fans were probably too eager to watch the coverage of Sunday’s race that they failed to read the message. The result was a bevy of fans and friends congratulating Johnson, who was understandably baffled and quite amused. Johnson tweeted out a reply, ending his post with the hashtag “#2013Replay” to clear things.
Image via YouTube