UPDATE (8:54 p.m. ET): After a bit of a wait, the command has been given to start engines and the Subway Firecracker 250 is upon us at Daytona. We’ll have post-race coverage later tonight on MotorSportsTalk, but for now, enjoy the show on this Independence Day.
UPDATE (8:37 p.m. ET): Pre-race ceremonies are now complete at Daytona, but the start of the race is still on hold. Some jet dryers are still patrolling parts of the 2.5-mile Daytona oval to get rid of remaining moisture.
UPDATE (8:10 p.m. ET): Driver intros for tonight’s Subway Firecracker 250 are now underway at Daytona International Speedway and cars are being rolled out to the grid.
NASCAR has still not announced a start time for the race, however. But the setting sun has come out and that’s always a good sign.
When NASCAR does decide on a start time, we’ll let you know.
Tonight’s Subway Firecracker 250 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series was scheduled to start shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET, but rain showers during Sprint Cup qualifying has delayed proceedings.
However, word from Daytona is that the rain has stopped for now, enabling the Air Titan units to make proper progress on drying out the 2.5-mile oval. NASCAR has not yet revealed a new start time.
Rain has played a major role in today’s action at the World Center of Racing. A sudden cloudburst along the backstretch led to a nine-car crash during the first round of Nationwide qualifying (see the clip below), and an additional shower eventually caused NASCAR to set tonight’s grid on first-round lap times.
The Sprint Cup contingent actually got all of their first round in the books, but rain again showed up and forced NASCAR to cancel the final two qualifying rounds. Like Nationwide, the grid for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 was set on first-round times; David Gilliland wound up earning the pole.
As we receive more updates on the weather situation at Daytona, we’ll pass them along to you right here.
Diaz (right) is another prototype class veteran, with recent PC experience (8Star Motorsports and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports) added to his LMP2 days with Fernandez Racing.
All three of them also competed in Champ Car World Series races in Mexico City, with Gonzalez and Diaz part of a six-Mexican driver entry in the 2003 race (Adrian Fernandez, Michel Jourdain Jr., Mario Dominguez and Rodolfo Lavin).
Ricardo Gonzalez co-drives the No. 43 RGR Sport Ligier JS P2 Nissan with Bruno Senna and Filipe Albuquerque in the WEC.
Around two-thirds of the Formula E grid also race in the WEC, with the two championships preventing clashes so that drivers do not have to pick between them. As a result, it seems inevitable that one of the races will have to change date.
Jolyon Palmer felt “gutted” after a likely top-10 finish in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was lost following a spin in the closing stages, costing him his first Formula 1 points.
2014 GP2 champion Palmer joined Renault for its return to F1 as a constructor in 2016, but arrived in Hungary without a point to his name from the opening 10 races of the season.
Palmer was left disappointed on Saturday after a red flag knocked him out of qualifying at the first hurdle, but a long first stint brought him into contention for points.
Palmer moved into the top 10 after jumping Nico Hulkenberg in the pits, only for Renault’s hard work to be undone when he spun off at Turn 4, losing three positions in the process.
The Briton was ultimately classified 12th after Esteban Gutierrez’s time penalty, extending his points drought to 11 races.
“I’m gutted as my first points in Formula 1 were there for the taking,” Palmer said.
“The car was good and I was driving well within myself in P10. I turned in the same as normal at turn four – I wasn’t hanging everything out and I was looking after the tires – but for some reason I lost the car in a massive snap.
“I need to look at everything with my engineers to see if there is anything we could have done to prevent it.
“I was running tenth, we had completed all our pit stops, we had good pace relative to those ahead and behind so it looks like we’ve made a real step forward this weekend.
“It was the best drive of my career today and just one small spin took away those points.
“I’m gutted today but I’ll be fighting to get in the same position or better in Hockenheim.”