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Rain pushes completion of Daytona 500 to Monday afternoon

by racedaysaeditor | Posted on Sunday, February 16th, 2020

By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Rain stopped the Daytona 500 after 20 laps of a scheduled 200 Sunday afternoon, forcing postponement of the Great American Race until Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Kroger Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag, waved by former NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to start the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were the centerpiece of pre-race festivities. After addressing the crowd, President Trump gave the command to start engines and paced the field for a lap before returning to the Daytona 500 Club.

Jimmie Johnson, starting his final full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series, then drove a lap of honor at the front of the field, but moments before the field was able to take the green flag precipitation started to fall and the start of the race was waved off.

After track drying efforts, during which the President departed on Air Force One, the race started at 4:20 p.m., roughly an hour after its scheduled green flag. Pole winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the first 20 laps as the field settled in to single-file racing before rain halted the race for the second time bringing out the first red flag.

Joey Logano, the 2015 Daytona 500 winner, was running second when the second downpour arrived, followed by a third that frustrated track-drying efforts and forced the postponement of the event till tomorrow. Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick completed the top five at the 20-lap mark, leaving four Fords behind the Chevrolet of Stenhouse.

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