Daytona 500 start time pushed back -- again

Just like Sunday, the Daytona 500 start time was scheduled for just after noon EST on Monday. And just like Sunday, inclement weather is preventing that from happening.

The Sprint Cup Series season opener was rescheduled to start at 7 p.m. EST, with the rains that prevented the event from taking place on its intended date for the first time in its 54-year history now causing even more delays.

According to the Weather Channel's website, light rain is falling in Daytona Beach as of 10:30 a.m. EST. Thunderstorms are expected to start by 11 a.m. and continue throughout the day, turning to scattered thunderstorms a little after 3 p.m. with the rain expected to stop sometime between 5 and 6 p.m.

Which is why the event is now scheduled to take place under the lights at Daytona International Speedway, something that happened in Daytona as recently as 2010. That was the infamous "Pothole 500," which took seven hours to complete because track workers needed to patch up a pothole between Turns 1 and 2.

Race officials would much rather have a night race than a Tuesday race, which, beyond being yet another delay for everyone to endure, would hamper teams' preparations for next weekend's race in Phoenix.

"This is one of the toughest things for us drivers," pole-sitter Carl Edwards said. "For all of us, it's now about who can stay focused. That's not just the drivers. The pit crew, the crew chief."


Photos: 2012 Daytona 500

Video: Carl Edwards talks rain during Daytona 500 news conference

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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