Race Weekend Central

Stock Car Scoop: Will Daytona 500 Start Time Be Moved Up?

More than 10 hours after the 2021 Daytona 500 began, Michael McDowell outlasted a five-plus hour rain delay to score his first career victory. But would the delay have even happened with a start time at Daytona International Speedway of 1 p.m. ET instead of 2:30?

Bryan Nolen is joined by Frontstretch reporter Adam Cheek to discuss whether NASCAR needs to consider changing its race scheduling after back-to-back lengthy rain delays at Daytona over the last two seasons. Also, where does McDowell’s victory rank among the all-time upsets in the Great American Race? Join them for quick, hard-hitting analysis and a full recap of NASCAR’s Super Bowl to start the year.

Sign up for Stock Car Scoop on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or visit Frontstretch every Monday and Friday throughout the year.

About the author

Bryan Nolen is the Podcast Manager for Frontstretch.com. He also hosts the Frontstretch Podcast with Bryan Nolen and occasionally makes appearances on The Happy Hour Podcast. He has a Sportscasting degree from the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. He resides in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two rabbits.

Follow him on Twitter @TheBryanNolen

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Bill B

They damn well should, but they won’t.


any idiot with a cell phone could see weather was going to be factor. they came on at noon and skies were blue and bright. they should had pushed the start up, get rid of idiotic 2+ hr pre-race show and race. they could of had most of that race ran before they weather turned sour.


Maybe finishing the event after midnight AGAIN might convince at least Fox to start the events earlier…Nope!


nope. they don’t want us old folks being a viable viewer/fan.

Jill P

Or the people who have to work early on Mondays.


Jill P – i’m an early riser for work. have to hit atlanta roads before the majority of the idiots start leaving in order to do at 24 mile commute in under 30 minutes. afternoon commute is always brutal, can be anywhere from 1-3 hrs to go those 24 miles.


Heck why not move it to May?. The rest of the schedule seams pretty flexible

Kevin in SoCal

Yep, the 1pm/3pm “standardized start times” were pretty nice, but they didn’t last long enough. Blame the TV people. blame NASCAR. But I applaud FOX for staying with the coverage all night instead of shifting to Fox Sports.


It was the Daytona 500, the “Super Bowl” of NA$CAR! If if was Dover they would have switched to the Chinese Checkers championship instead.

Bill B

Good point. I would have bet money they were going to switch to Fox S1 and was shocked when NASCAR won a battle against NEW prime time programing.

bill in cliffwood

not only get back to one o’clock starts but when you give a starting time stick to it. the 500 did not get the green till bout 3:10 or so.. Maybe nascar doesn’t have a good watch


LOL I couldn’t have said it any better than those who have already commented. Yes it’s pure stupidity that NASCAR/Fox/NBC whatever continues to push the start times of the races to later and later in the day especially when weather is going to be a factor.

1 p.m. local time worked for years.

I totally agree with the overblown -pre-race show (which BTW I didn’t bother to watch). I quit bothering with that quite a while ago.

Bill W

Glad to see McDowell win .I will repeat what I said last week, somebody is going to get killed at Daytona or Dega. If they had ran the road course the rain would not had been a factor. The 24 should had been black flagged sooner because he caused damage to two car from his debris .

Bill B

The rain might not have been a factor but if there is lighting involved (and there was) then the same thing would have happened.

g f

One Eastern would best for me.


Fox has created issues for the sport since David Hill poked his nose into it. We need 1 PM starts and night races with a 7 PM green flag. If Fox or NBC or which alphabet soup and the mental lightweights that make the decisions want to start later, then for every hour the race is delayed for weather after it could have been run at 1PM then reimburse the sport $1 million per hour the race runs past 7 PM. They broadcast free, no commercials, if the race is delayed to a different day. Hit them in the pocket book.

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