News & Media

Lap-by-Lap: Daytona

February 28, 2012, ,

Lap 202 -- CHECKERED FLAG: Greg Biffle weaves back and forth on the backstretch to block Dale Earnhardt Jr. That allows Matt Kenseth to scoot away and take the win, his second in the Daytona 500. Earnhardt nips Biffle at the strip for second place.

Lap 201 -- GREEN FLAG: The race will come to its conclusion in a green-white checkered finish. Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick are the lead five.

Kenseth moves up to pick up Biffle on the outside line. Earnhardt is tucked in third place. He's pushing Biffle hard in Turns 3 and 4.

Lap 196 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 10: Another multicar accident takes place in almost the same place as the last one. Tony Stewart, Dave Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Landon Cassill, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and others are caught up in the accident.

Lap 195 -- The top 10, 12 cars are single file, setting up for the finish. Who makes the first move?

Lap 194 -- GREEN FLAG: Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick are the front five as a light fog descends on the track.

Earnhardt pushes Kenseth to the inside initially, but Kenseth drops down to pick up teammate Biffle. Earnhardt fades to fourth, behind Hamlin.

Lap 190 -- Dave Blaney and Bobby Labonte have pitted.

Lap 188 -- Tony Stewart was in the middle of the accident, but might have escaped without damaging his car too severely.

Lap 187 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 9: There's a multicar accident on the frontstretch involving Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Regan Smith, Aric Almirola and others.

Lap 186 -- The front four are single file, and Kevin Harvick has a drafting partner in teammate Jeff Burton on the outside. That line hasn't worked most of the night, however.

Lap 184 -- Denny Hamlin, in fourth, may be in position to help Dale Earnhardt Jr. make a move. They're not making it yet.

Lap 183 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in third place, right on Greg Biffle's rear bumper.

Lap 182 -- GREEN FLAG: Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin hold down the top-five spots when the green is displayed.

Kenseth jumps in front of Biffle for a push into Turn 3 that clears them from the rest of the pack.

Lap 181 -- The restart is delayed a lap.

Lap 179 -- Aric Almirola, who was involved in the genesis of the accident, is on pit road.

Lap 176 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 8: Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears are involved in a mishap in Turn 1.

Lap 174 -- Still no change up front, but Denny Hamlin on the outside looks like he might be making some progress.

Lap 170 -- The first seven cars are single file, with the outside line still stalled.

Lap 169 -- The outside line is not the place to be right now.

Lap 167 -- Matt Kenseth has teammate Greg Biffle right behind him, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in third.

Lap 166 -- GREEN FLAG: Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Dale Eanrhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton are the top five on the restart. Here we go!

Kenseth clears for the lead between Turns 1 and 2. They get through the accident site in good shape.

Lap 165 -- Dave Blaney, Landon Cassill, Tony Raines and David Gilliland are forced to pit. Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch are also in to top off their fuel supplies.

Lap 164 -- Casey Mears appears to have run out of fuel.

Lap 163 -- Pace-car driver Brett Bodine feels a slight bump through the accident site. Race director David Hoots says the race will go green in two laps.

Lap 162 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn't think the high side of the accident site in Turn 3 is ready for racing conditions.

Lap 161 -- Kasey Kahne and Michael McDowell pit road.

11:57 p.m. ET -- The red flag is being withdrawn, and card are beginning to roll off the backstretch. We might just finish this thing after all!

11:56 p.m. ET -- Engines have been refired.

11:51 p.m. ET -- The top 10 when the red flag is withdrawn will be Dave Blaney, Landon Cassill, Tony Raines, David Gilliland, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Casey Mears, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle and Joey Logano.

11:45 p.m. ET -- Let's hope that when the race gets started again that Turn 3 doesn't turn into Calamity Corner!

11:43 p.m. ET -- Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch will both have to go to the back of the pack for pulling tear-offs from their windshields.

11:40 p.m. ET -- No matter what happens from here on out, Dave Blaney at the very least deserves some sort of honorable mention for the most time lead in this year's Daytona 500.

11:21 p.m. ET -- Drivers have been called back to their cars. Also, the rain cell that had been headed toward the track appears to have broken up. Crew members from each team will be ferried to the backstretch to help their drivers get settled.

11:16 p.m. ET -- According to NASCAR official Steve O'Donnell's Twitter feed, "We've sent officials to backstretch to be ready to load drivers back into cars. Will be ready to roll once surface dried in Turn 3."

11:13 p.m. ET -- A couple of rain drops have been reported at the track.

11:01 p.m. ET -- Paging Buz McKim, historian at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The jet dryer HAS to go on display!

10:58 p.m. ET -- Great news. The driver of the jet dryer has been seen and released from nearby Halifax Medical Center.

10:57 p.m. ET -- Workers are still cleaning up the accident site. No word on when the race might be resumed.

10:30 p.m. ET -- Video shows track worker running up the track to help driver of the jet-dryer truck just before the fire broke out. That guy deserves a bonus!

10:24 p.m. ET -- NASCAR officials report that Dave Blaney does not want to get out of his car. He is asking, however, for someone to bring him water. Could the Daytona 500 trophy be far behind?

10:23 p.m. ET -- Drivers are out of their cars on the backstretch.

10:20 p.m. ET -- On Dave Blaney's radio, he's told, "We might have stole one here!"

10:13 p.m. ET -- The damaged truck and jet dryer trailer is being removed from the banking by two huge forklifts.

10:11 p.m. ET -- Dave Blaney, whatever you do, don't get out of your car and fix your fender!

10:01 p.m. ET -- If you thought Trevor Bayne was an underdog winner last year, how about Dave Blaney at the top of the heap right now?

10 p.m. ET -- The fire is out, but emergency vehicles are still on the scene in an attempt to clean the wreck site.

Lap 160 -- RED FLAG: The jet dryer and track are still in flames. Dave Blaney is the leader, with Landon Cassill in second place, Tony Raines third and David Gilliland fourth.

Lap 160 -- Juan Montoya's car has hit one of the jet dryers, and the truck is engulfed in flames in Turn 3.

Lap 159 -- The leaders are on pit road. Several take two tires only.

Lap 157 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 7: David Stremme blows an engine and then spins in front of a small pack of traffic. Fortunately, he is the only car involved.

Lap 154 -- Incredibly, the first 15 cars are separated by less than a second.

Lap 153 -- Elliott Sadler's car is very slow going into Turn 1.

Lap 151 -- Those first five cars are back in a nose-to-tail formation.

Lap 150 -- Fifty laps to go. The top five is currently Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Casey Mears and Kevin Harvick.

Lap 147 -- The intensity is picking up big time. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has moved into second place behind Matt Kenseth.

Lap 145 -- The single file up front is gone. Joey Logano begins the lap as the leader, but Matt Kenseth moves to the high side to take the advantage coming off the last corner.

Lap 143 -- Denny Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano shuffles into the lead.

Lap 142 -- Denny Hamlin is still the leader, but he's got company from Matt Kenseth and a big pack of traffic just behind him.

Lap 138 -- Denny Hamlin has taken over the lead from Greg Biffle.

Lap 136 -- Marcos Ambrose gets shuffled out of position to the high side.

Lap 134 -- The first 11 cars are single file, but they won't stay that way as the laps begin to wind down even more.

Lap 133 -- Greg Biffle gets help from Denny Hamlin to take the lead from Mark Martin coming off Turn 4.

Lap 132 -- GREEN FLAG: Mark Martin, David Stremme and Tony Stewart are the leaders because they did not stop with most of the lead pack. Regan Smith is fourth.

Let it rain now and give Martin the trophy!

Lap 131 -- The rest of the leaders are on pit road. Elliott Sadler pits again, and cars scramble to avoid him.

Lap 130 -- Although pit road is still closed, Jeff Burton gives up fourth place to take on fuel and tires. He will have to start from the rear of the field. Elliott Sadler also pits.

Lap 129 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 6: Just as Tony Stewart pits, the caution comes out for Clint Bowyer's stalled car in Turn 2. Stewart will more than likely assume the lead when the race goes back to green.

Lap 127 -- Clint Bowyer is off the pace big time. He was running in fifth place. He misses pit road, and is coasting around the apron of the track, reportedly out of gas.

Lap 126 -- Aric Almirola is lurking back in sixth place. Could tonight be the night the No. 43 winds up back in Daytona's victory lane?

Lap 124 -- Look for pit stops to be starting shortly.

Lap 120 -- Denny Hamlin still holds the point, followed closely by Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 119 -- Tony Stewart is sandwiched between Brad Keselowski and a third car in traffic.

Lap 116 -- The inside line has been the place to be tonight. at the moment, the first 10 cars are single file to the low side.

Lap 112 -- Brad Keselowski is pulling the outside line even with fourth-place Jeff Burton.

Lap 110 -- Carl Edwards reports that his fuel pressure seems to be fluctuating. He's currently in 21st place.

Lap 108 -- The top five are currently Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer.

Lap 104 -- Denny Hamlin has Martin Truex Jr. just behind him in second place.

Lap 101 -- In other news, the race is now official. Tony Stewart briefly takes the lead going down the backstretch, but Denny Hamlin jumps under him between Turns 3 and 4 to go to the top of the leaderboard.

Lap 100 -- Halfway. Martin Truex Jr. gets a huge boost from Denny Hamlin to take the lead going into Turn 3, and scores the $200,000 bonus. He also led at the halfway point last year.

Lap 98 -- Three laps from halfway, and there's a line of single-file traffic behind leader Greg Biffle.

Lap 94 -- Greg Biffle is still the leader, but there's one heck of a show going on just behind him!

Lap 93 -- The inside and outside lines are door to door, with Greg Biffle slightly out front going into Turn 1.

Lap 92 -- GREEN FLAG: Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne are your leaders when the race pace quickens.

Kasey Kahne is trying for a hole shot straight up the middle with help from teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 90 -- Elliott Sadler is on pit road, but don't look for many other takes with a $200,000 bonus up for grabs in 10 laps.

Lap 89 -- Terry Labonte comes onto pit road after getting very briefly stuck in the wet grass of the trioval.

Lap 88 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 5: Terry Labonte gets turned off the nose of Marcos Ambrose coming off Turn 4.

Lap 87 -- Greg Biffle slips down in front of Terry Labonte, the two-time Cup champion, to retake the lead.

Lap 86 -- GREEN FLAG: Terry Labonte is the leader after not pitting. Greg Biffle is to his outside in second place on the restart. Labonte holds the spot all the way around the track.

Lap 85 -- Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard top off their fuel supplies.

Lap 82 - The leaders are back on pit road.

Lap 81 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 4: Jeff Gordon's engine detonates going into Turn 3. He briefly had flames trailing from behind his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Lap 78 -- Martin Truex Jr. had Denny Hamlin behind him for a moment, but Hamlin jumped up top to the lead the group on the high side.

Lap 76 -- Martin Truex Jr. is leading the charge to the outside, and he takes the lead from Greg Biffle.

Lap 74 -- Jeff Burton is back to sixth place, and he has Martin Truex Jr. to his outside.

Lap 72 -- Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano are single file up front.

Lap 69 -- Matt Kenseth had a big problem on the stop, his car spouting a huge geyser of water.

Lap 68 -- GREEN FLAG: Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch are the leaders on the restart. The rest of the top 10 are Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray and Joey Logano.

Ambrose has a front bumper full of Biffle as they charge into the lead in Turn 3.

Lap 66 -- Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart and several others pit, mostly for fuel only. Danica Patrick is back on the track.

Lap 65 -- Remember folks, there's a $200,000 bonus up for grabs at the halfway point. How will that impact strategy now, if at all?

Lap 64 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 3: There's debris being reported in Turn 2.

Lap 63 -- Jeff Gordon wrestles the advantage away from Jeff Burton.

Lap 62 -- Jeff Gordon is now the leader.

Lap 61 -- Tony Stewart is on pit road, basically by himself. He had tried to stop earlier, but was blocked from entering pit lane.

Lap 60 -- Jeff Gordon, Dave Blaney, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others are pitting.

Lap 59 -- Most of the rest of the leaders roll down pit road.

Lap 58 -- Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, David Reutimann, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Joey Logano and a few others are getting fuel and tires.

Lap 57 -- Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray and Juan Montoya are in for service.

Lap 56 -- Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte and Michael McDowell are pitting.

Lap 55 -- Leader Jeff Burton should be coming in for service in another three laps or so.

Lap 54 -- Paul Menard and Denny Hamlin drop onto pit road. Menard was third, Hamlin seventh.

Lap 51 -- Greg Biffle and Paul Menard are still tucked on the bumper of leader Jeff Burton. The first several cars in line are single file.

Lap 49 -- Denny Hamlin is still at the head of the outside line, but he's dueling for sixth place at the moment.

Lap 45 -- Denny Hamlin jumps out of line going into Turn 3, but he can't make the move for the lead stick just yet.

Lap 44 -- The leaders are beginning to mix it up a little bit. Jeff Burton moves his way to the lead with help from Greg Biffle.

Lap 39 -- There are currently 35 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 38 -- There's a pack up front, split single- and double-file. Kevin Harvick leads another pack further back. Harvick is shown in 29th place, nearly six seconds behind the leader.

Lap 37 -- Here comes Trevor Bayne down pit road.

Lap 35 -- Aside from Denny Hamlin, any of the rest of the top six could be considered a surprise winner of the Daytona 500.

Lap 33 -- It's now the first six cars in single file -- Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Joey Logano, Jeff Burton and Marcos Ambrose.

Lap 32 -- According to Fox's broadcast, the last 10 Daytona 500s have had 10 different winners.

Lap 28 -- Trevor Bayne is about to return from the garage. He's currently shown in 39th place, 25 laps down.

Lap 26 -- It appears that the frontrunners are content to log some laps for the time being.

Lap 25 -- The top seven are Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Joey Logano, Jeff Burton, Marcos Ambrose and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 23 -- Greg Biffle and Martin Truex Jr. are back running neck and neck in their battle for seventh place.

Lap 21 -- Martin Truex Jr. and Greg Biffle were the first cars side by side, but Truex clears going into Turn 1.

Lap 20 -- The first several cars in line are now single file, but they're all over each other further back in the field.

Lap 19 -- Denny Hamlin has pulled clear of the field, and he has Paul Menard in tow.

Lap 17 -- GREEN FLAG: Denny Hamlin and Paul Menard did not pit, and they are the leaders on the restart. Hamlin grabs the top spot in the scramble.

Lap 14 -- The leaders are hitting pit road. It beats hitting each other! Whoops ... not so fast there. A.J. Allmendinger receives damage in a mishap on pit road and has to be pushed to the garage.

Lap 13 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 2: Ryan Newman loops his car on the backstretch. He does not appear to have made contact with anything.

Lap 12 -- Carl Edwards pushes Greg Biffle into the lead in Turn 3.

Lap 11 -- Regan Smith -- the darkhorse! -- has picked his way to the front! He's now the leader.

Lap 10 -- The entire field remains door to door, just like the pace laps.

Lap 7 -- GREEN FLAG: Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth lead the field to the restart. Biffle clears for the lead coming back around to the stripe.

Lap 5: All drivers have climbed from their cars unassisted.

Lap 3 -- David Ragan and Trevor Bayne were also swept up into the accident.

Lap 2 -- YELLOW FLAG NO. 1: Wow. Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrck, Kurt Busch and others are involved in a crash going into Turn1. The wreck was triggered when Elliott Sadler shoved Johnson coming out of the trioval.

Lap 1 -- GREEN FLAG: At long last, the race gets under way at 7:14 p.m. ET. The first few rows remain door to door through Turns 1 and 2. Jamie McMurray is off the pace, looking for a partner. Greg Biffle clears for the lead.

7:06 p.m. ET -- The cars are rolling off pit road.

7:01 p.m. ET -- Leonard Wood gives the command to fire engines, as Eddile, Jon and Jordan Wood look on.

6:54 p.m. ET -- Melisa Tenbroeck, also from Daytona, sings the national anthem.

6:53 p.m. ET -- Pastor Sonny Gallman of Central Baptist Church in Daytona is giving the invocation.

6:35 p.m. ET -- I'm a darkhorse kind of guy, so my pick for tonight's winner of the Daytona 500 is Regan Smith. Or Michael McDowell. Seriously.

6:23 p.m. ET -- Drivers are now being asked to report to their cars at 6:45 p.m. Get ready to have at it!

6:21 p.m. ET -- The invocation and national anthem are slated to start in a little more than 30 minutes.

6:09 p.m. ET -- Holy cow! What is that over the track? Blue sky! Yes!

5:54 p.m. ET -- Cars will be brought to pit road from the garage at 6 p.m., with drivers to report 30 minutes later. Let's do this thing!

5:47 p.m. ET -- Clouds are breaking up over Daytona!

5:11 p.m. ET -- Plans now call for the race to go green at 7:13 p.m. ET. Leonard, Eddie, Jordan and Jon Wood from Wood Brothers Racing will give the command to fire engines.

10:21 a.m. ET -- In order to wait out the weather that's around Daytona at the moment, the decision has been made to move the green flag until 7 p.m. Night racing, baby!

Feb. 27, 9:56 a.m.: The green flag is scheduled to drop at 12:18 p.m. Let's get this show on the road!

5:09 p.m. ET -- Because of the rain that has started to fall again, the Daytona 500 has been postponed until noon tomorrow. It will be shown live on Fox. This is the first time the race has ever been bumped a day.

4:57 p.m. ET -- All is not lost. My "other" pick for most exciting Daytona 500 finish -- the 1979 Daytona 500 -- is first on Fox's list. Whew ...

4:26 p.m. ET -- Wait just a dang skippy second. My pick for most exciting Daytona 500 finish is 10th according to a top-10 list that Fox is showing right now. Worse yet, one of my two runnerup up selections -- the 1976 Daytona 500 between David Pearson and Richard Petty -- was ninth.

4:02 p.m. ET -- As updates go, it's pretty much what you might have expected. Track drying is still under way, it has stopped raining and there's hope of getting the race in tonight. However, there is also another big rain cell headed in the general direction of the facility.

3:57 p.m. ET -- The skies over the track are looking much more encouraging than at most any other point today!

3:45 p.m. ET -- Fifteen minutes until an expected update from NASCAR.

3:33 p.m. ET -- Steve O'Donnell is tweeting up a storm today. His latest tweet says that there's a window on the radar, but adds, "We'll need the green blob behind it to blow north!" Also, dryers are on the track.

For the record, O'Donnell is the senior vice president of racing operations for NASCAR. So this isn't exactly the floor sweeper we're quoting here!

3:29 p.m. ET -- NASCAR official Steve O'Donnell, asked on Twitter if shortening the race is an option to get it in today, responds, "No, sir. If we start, we intend to run 500 (miles)."

3:25 p.m. ET -- Kyle Busch has won on a last-lap pass of Tony Stewart at Daytona. There's only small problem. It's a replay of the Budweiser Shootout that Fox is showing to fill the rain delay.

3:17 p.m. ET -- Same song, different verse. It's raining at Daytona.

2:37 p.m. ET -- The Daytona 500 is actually taking place at this very moment in countless places all over the world. Unfortunately, it's the video-game version. In real-time, rain is still falling at the race track.

2:14 p.m. ET -- All options are open right now for the Daytona 500, including running it tonight. That's according to NASCAR official Steve O'Donnell on Twitter.

2 p.m. ET -- Don't care how many times it's replayed, video of Trevor Bayne taking the checkered flag in the 2011 Daytona 500 is always going to be kind of cool.

1:44 p.m. ET -- Soooooo ... best Daytona 500 finish ever? No ties between multiple races, either. I'm going with 2007, big crash off Turn 4, Clint Bowyer sliding through the trioval grass upside down, Happy Harvick edges Mark Martin at the stripe. Amazing.

1:39 p.m. ET -- Although it's still raining, jet dryers are back on the track. There shall also be no mention of jet dryers leading the most laps today. None, I say.

1:27 p.m. ET -- The bottom has fallen out. The rain is coming down hard now.

1:17 p.m. ET -- Darrell Waltrip is explaining his vortex theory on Fox. He insists that getting cars on the track somehow has an impact on shooing weather away from the race track.

1:14 p.m. ET -- Per NASCAR, the command to fire engines is on hold.

1:12 p.m. ET -- Hey!!! The Thunderbirds did show up for the fly-over after all! Did I mention how cool a ride-along that would be?!?

1:11 p.m. ET -- Pat Monahan, lead singer of the group Train, is singing the national anthem.

1:10 p.m. ET -- That's not stopping pre-race ceremonies. Pastor Sonny Gallman of Central Baptist Church in Daytona Beach is giving the invocation.

1:09 p.m. ET -- It's now raining heavier than it had been previously.

1:07 p.m. ET -- Double uh-oh. The jet dryers are being shut down for the time being.

1:04 p.m. ET -- Uh-oh. Umbrellas are showing back up on pit road. It's raining again at Daytona.

12:46 p.m. ET -- Trevor Bayne has been introduced. The car he drove to victory in last year's Daytona 500 will be returned to Wood Brothers Racing during pre-race ceremonies today. It has been on display at the track.

12:44 p.m. ET -- Drivers are being introduced. That's a sure sign of ... well ... not much.

12:36 p.m. ET -- Jet dryers are headed onto the track shortly, according to NASCAR official Steve O'Donnell's Twitter account.

12:17 p.m. ET -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is being interviewed on Fox's pre-race show. His first time here at Daytona in a 1997 Busch Series race, Junior wound up on his lid going down the backstretch. He ended the year with a blown engine at Homestead, but sandwiched in between the two bad showings was the first of his two series championships.

Noon ET -- I promise not to type the words "Rain, rain go away" at all today. No ... wait a second. I just did. I promise not to type them any more!

11:44 a.m. ET -- With rain and clouds, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team probably won't be able to do its fly-over. THAT, my friends, is a bucket-list moment ... to be riding in the back seat of a jet fighter during a pre-race fly-over!

Give me the Navy's Blue Angels, though. Naval aviation all the way!

11:31 a.m. ET -- Don't count out running this race to completiton just yet, though. The 1979 Daytona 500 -- the first 500-mile race broadcast live from start to finish -- also faced issues with the weather. But NASCAR Founder Bill France Sr. evidently had "connections."

"I could hear Mr. France on the radio, and he was over toward Ormond Beach somewhere riding around," remembered Chip Warren, then a NASCAR official who served as the chief starter for the famous race. "[Former NASCAR employee] Jim Bachoven was over in the opposite direction, and they were talking to each other on the radio.

"Mr. France says, 'Bachy, I've got sunshine over here.' And Bachy said, 'Well, I've got some sunshine over here, too.' I'll never forget ... Mr. France said, 'You bring your sunshine, I'll bring mine and I'll meet you at the tunnel."

Yep. You guessed it.

"I could see the tunnel from the flagstand, and I remember that Cadillac coming up out of that tunnel," Warren continued. "It was like the sky just opened up and sun started shining. It just sent cold chills all over me. I thought, 'Man ... this guy's got something here.'"

11:28 a.m. ET -- I hate to say it ... but it's raining in Daytona.

7:45 a.m. ET -- First, the good news. The Daytona 500 will be run. The bad news? Light rain is in the forecast most of the day, and on radar, a huge wall of green is bearing down on Daytona International Speedway at this very moment.

If history is any indicator, there may still be hope. Not once in the 53 previous editions of this race has it been postponed due to weather. Just four have been shortened because of precipitation -- the first time in 1965 with Fred Lorenzen as the winner and most recently just three years ago when the victory went to Matt Kenseth.

7:35 a.m. ET -- The lineup for the Daytona 500 was finalized Thursday following the twin 150-mile qualifying races. Duel 1 set the grid for odd-numbered starting positions, and Duel 2 the evens.

Carl Edwards is on the pole, with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle in second. Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. make up the rest of the top five. Regan Smith, Marcos Ambrose, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton and Elliott Sadler will roll to the stripe in sixth through tenth.

Former Daytona 500 winners Bill Elliott and Michael Waltrip failed to qualify for this year's edition of the Great American Race, as did Robert Richardson Jr., Mike Wallace, Kenny Wallace and J.J. Yeley.