A rain shower struck Daytona and caused a major crash; Hamlin looks for alternative policies
On Saturday, the NASCAR Cup Series would have taken the green flag at Daytona International Speedway. Instead, the regular-season finale was pushed back to Sunday morning due to rain showers the night before.
They dropped the green on Sunday with a rain cloud on the way. NASCAR was hoping they could get the race in.
In the closing laps of the 160 lap event, a very dark rain cloud approached the track. At the same time, sunlight remained on the racing surface. It’s a difficult situation for NASCAR officials.
NASCAR race cars are fitted with slick tires. The lack of tread make sure they fail miserably on any wet surface.
Rain crash at Daytona
With 23 to go, Daniel Suarez and Denny Hamlin led the field down the backstretch. At that point, there were no rain drops on the windshiewlds, nor was it raining a lap prior.
Yet, when they reached turn three, the skies opened up. All of the front runners crashed.
It was a situation where multiple cars crashed at the same time, in several different incidents. At first it was pure confusion until moments later, the entire track was covered in rain.
This is a situation that’s very rare. It happened a few years ago at New Hampshire and once in the Charlotte All-Star race but those are the only two situations that come to mind.
Usually, a yellow can be thrown in time to stop a crash. NASCAR has corner workers that inspect the track for debris and can feel when the rain needs to halt the show.
After a multi-hour delay, NASCAR was able to restart the race. Austin Dillon drove to victory lane as Hamlin watched from the pit box of the 23XI Racing team.
Denny Hamlin comments on the Daytona crash caused by rain
Thinking about how we avoid circumstances like we had today,” Hamlin stated via twitter.
“Maybe we should be more proactive instead of re-active? If we wait until the track gets wet isn’t it already too late?”
He added, “You can’t hold off because of the “threat” of rain but when you see it then we should probably stop.”