Rain postpones Daytona 500 qualifying

Rain in Florida delayed the start of qualifying for the NASCAR Winston Cup 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The first qualifying session was scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. (EST) Sunday, but morning rain showers hit the Speedway, putting the...

Rain in Florida delayed the start of qualifying for the NASCAR Winston Cup 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The first qualifying session was scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. (EST) Sunday, but morning rain showers hit the Speedway, putting the season opener on hold.

The outlook is not positive as radar shows a continuation of the rain showers ongoing into Monday afternoon. The humidity is at exactly 100 percent - a good indicator of moisture hanging in the air and preventing any serious attempt to dry the track.

In the Friday morning practice session, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the fastest turning a speed of 184.521 mph followed by teammate Michael Waltrip just a tad slower at 184.313 mph. Other Chevrolet drivers in the top ten were: Jeff Green (3rd), Joe Nemechek (5th), Steve Park (7th) and the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion, Tony Stewart, in tenth.

The top of the class for Dodge was Sterling Marlin fourth fastest and Kyle Petty ninth. Elliott Sadler led the Ford charge as sixth fastest with Dale Jarrett in eighth position. Mike Skinner had the fastest Pontiac with a speed of 181.333 mph in 32nd spot.

Chevy dominated the afternoon practice with Nemechek on top at 185.129 mph followed by a gaggle of Chevys: Waltrip, Earnhardt Jr., Stewart, and Jimmie Johnson. Rookie Tony Raines added to the top ten for Chevy with a 10th place position.

Ford and Dodge split the sixth to ninth position; Jarrett (Ford), Jeremy Mayfield (Dodge), Sadler (Ford), Mike Wallace (Dodge). Jerry Nadeau showed the speed of his Pontiac with a 14th spot at 183.173 mph.

In the Bud Shootout last night, Chevy again showed their potential domination with Earnhardt Jr. winning and Jeff Gordon in second position. Matt Kenseth had the top Ford for the final podium spot and Ryan Newman took fourth for Dodge top finish.

UPDATE: 3:40 p.m. (EST)

The first session of qualifying for the Daytona 500 has been canceled due to rain. Qualifying has been rescheduled for Monday, February 10 at 1:05 p.m. (EST).

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Joe Nemechek , Jeff Green , Sterling Marlin , Jerry Nadeau , Mike Wallace , Ryan Newman , Tony Raines , Jimmie Johnson , Elliott Sadler