Sunday's postponement of the Daytona 500 -- the first time the race has been postponed in its 53-year history -- could not happen at a worse time for NASCAR.
Coming off of the best finish in the point race ever in 2011 and heading into the new season with the hype of Danica Patrick's first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup race, the expectation was for extremely high TV ratings. With a typically wild Daytona finish, the sport would be off and running with new fans and increased popularity.
Until rains pushed the start time back again to 6 p.m. CT Monday, it could've been even worse. Under the original plan (11 a.m. CT Monday), fans and interested potential fans would've likely been at work.
So much for starting the season with a roaring start. And that's a shame.
No one is more aware -- or disappointed -- than NASCAR itself. The perfect storm of Tony and Carl from last season merged with the season's first hurricane, named Danica, to create a storm for the ages. The hype and buzz from Daytona has been louder than the roar of 43 engines for some time now. Some media outlets have actually hired reporters, a rarity these days, to solely cover everything Danica.
While Danica says she has a chance to win the Daytona 500, which she does but is unlikely, the real money is on Stewart, Edwards and others. Regardless, the hype has been good of the sport.
The rain is not.