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Inclement Weather Forces Cancelation of Final Practice for Daytona 500

With inclement weather arriving at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR has been forced to cancel the final on-track session for NASCAR Cup Series teams before Sunday's Daytona 500.


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It’s already been a difficult start to the season for NASCAR, in terms of the weather.

Two weeks ago, in the pre-season exhibition event at the LA Memorial Coliseum, NASCAR was forced to move the Busch Light Clash and the NASCAR Mexico Series events forward one day, due to the threat of life-threatening weather entering the Los Angeles, California area.

Now, here we are, in the first points-paying race weekend of the season, and Mother Nature is continuing to wreak havoc on NASCAR Cup Series drivers and teams — this time, forcing the cancellation of Saturday’s 50-minute practice session from Daytona International Speedway.

The session was originally scheduled to run at 10:30 AM ET, but precipitation in the early part of Saturday morning made it impossible to get the 2.5-mile superspeedway dry enough to start on time. That, coupled with a jam-packed schedule of events for the day, forced the sanctioning body’s hand in making this call.

Luckily for the 40 drivers who qualified for the 2024 Daytona 500, they had a chance to be on track on Friday, with a 50-minute session that featured numerous packs – of varying sizes – as well as some drivers making single-car runs to improve the overall speed of their entries.

Denny Hamlin led Friday’s practice session, which will end up being the final on-track activity before the NASCAR Cup Series field takes on ‘The Great American Race’ on Sunday, weather permitting of course.

The session featured a stranglehold of the top-eight positions by Toyota Racing Development with Erik Jones in second place, Christopher Bell in third, Ty Gibbs fourth, and John Hunter Nemechek fifth. Tyler Reddick, Jimmie Johnson, Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell, and Austin Cindric completed the top-10.

For NASCAR, the next scheduled instance of on-track activity at Daytona International Speedway is supposed to be qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener, with the all-important qualifying session originally scheduled to roll at 11:30 AM ET.

As of the time of publishing, NASCAR has only axed NASCAR Cup Series final practice. No determination has been made as far as qualifying, or the scheduled 300-miler for Xfinity Series teams later this evening.

Inspection ahead of Sunday’s Daytona 500 will take place today (Saturday), with the NASCAR Cup Series garage officially closing at 3:30 PM ET.

-- Photo Credit: Toby Christie, TobyChristie.com

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