Daytona 500 rain delay updates: How long will weather in forecast delay NASCAR’s 2024 race?

The 2024 NASCAR season was slated to begin on Sunday — Mother Nature had other plans.

The Daytona 500 has been postponed until Monday due to ongoing rain in the region. The new campaign comes right on the heels of a rain-filled 2023 campaign, continue the pattern for the first race of the season. . 

This is far from the first time rain has had an impact on the first race of the campaign. Back in 2021, showers in the forecast did not stop the race from getting off on time, but by lap 16 — two laps after a major crash collected 16 cars — the red flag came out and the race was put on hold for five hours and 40 minutes.

Here’s the latest on the race’s status ahead of Sunday.

MORE: Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell take checkered flags in Daytona Duels

Daytona 500 weather updates

(All times Eastern)

Sunday, Feb. 18

9:26 a.m.: It’s official — the Daytona 500 has been postponed until Monday due to the rain. It has a tentative start time of 4 p.m.

9:15 a.m.: Due to the rain, It’s been reported that it’s going to take roughly an hour to an hour and a half to dry the track. At this point, if the race is going to happen at all, it won’t be until later at 8 p.m. 

-Likely 120-180 min to dry track in these conditions
-Rain likely has to stop by 5pmish for realistic chance to race (likely wouldn’t want to start much later than 8pmish)
-When NASCAR makes call TBD
-If Cup race ppd, would be after Xfinity on Mon, so late afternoon (or later) https://t.co/BLvPwypuH6

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 18, 2024

9:08 a.m.: The forecast in Daytona Beach does not look promising. The rain is expected to continue throughout the entire afternoon and into late evening, according to The Weather Channel. 

Saturday, Feb. 17

6:12 p.m.: Already, the rain is having an impact on at least one portion of NASCAR’s opening weekend. The Xfinity Series’ United Rentals 300 on Saturday has been postponed to 11 a.m. ET on Monday due to the rain. It was originally slated to begin at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, then was moved up to 4 p.m. ET hoping to get it official before the weather rained it out, but the rain has made it clear the race will be unable to start as scheduled.

The forecast continues to remain bleak for the rest of Saturday night and Sunday. The National Weather Service continues to say precipitation between 1 and 2 inches for Saturday night with more rain scheduled throughout the day on Sunday.

12:30 p.m.: Rain has not begun yet in Daytona Beach, Fla., but it is highly likely to start this afternoon at any minute. The chance of rain in the afternoon is 90 percent, and there could be heavy rain expected overnight with a 100 percent probability, reaching up to 1 inch of rain possible.

And it doesn’t appear likely to let up any time before the race begins on Sunday. There are new precipitation amounts expected between 1 and 2 inches of rain during the day, and the forecast says the rain could be heavy at times.

Daytona 500 weather forecast

National Weather Service

  • Chance of rain (Saturday): 90 percent
  • Chance of rain (Saturday night): 100 percent
  • Chance of rain (Sunday): 90 percent
  • Chance of rain (Sunday night): 50 percent

Sunday’s forecast as of Feb. 17: “Showers. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 60. North wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.”

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