The 6-hour, 21-minute, 40-second rain delay Sunday marked the fourth time in the last five years that the Daytona 500 was affected by inclement conditions.
In 2009, Matt Kenseth won a rain-shortened race. The 2010 Daytona 500 was interrupted for more than two hours because of a pothole created by rains earlier in the week.
Daylong rains forced the 2012 race to be run on a Monday night for the first time. Juan Pablo Montoya slammed into a jet dryer that night, igniting an inferno that caused another two-hour delay before Kenseth won again.
Bowyer’s engine fails
The engine in Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 Toyota blew up on lap 127, and he finished 42nd for his worst finish in nine starts in the Daytona 500.
“It’s just a frustrating day,” said Bowyer, of Emporia, Kan. “First the rain. I mean, if it was going to blow up, I wish it would have blown up four hours ago. I could have been home watching. It’s just disappointing. Everybody’s out there having fun, and we broke our toy.”
Truex first out
Even though Martin Truex Jr. had to go to the back of the field because of a wreck in the Budweiser Duels, he expressed confidence in his backup car heading into Sunday’s race.
But Truex’s No. 78 Chevrolet had an engine failure, and he was the first driver out of the race.
“I went to bed (Saturday) night thinking that this was my best shot ever to win the Daytona 500 and really felt that way,” said Truex, who had qualified for the first row before the accident in the Duels. “Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. It looks like something knocked the oil pump belt off. Not sure if it was debris off the race track or what. You typically get about two seconds to shut it off once that belt comes off or it will blow up and we just didn’t get enough warning.”
To the victors go …
… A decal.
The winner of each Sprint Cup race will receive a decal to display next to the driver’s name above the door, starting with the winner of the Daytona 500.
The decal, which is a checkered flag above the word WINNER, will indicate the driver likely has earned a spot in the new 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup format.
| Randy Covitz,email@example.com