Coke Zero 400 Qualifying Canceled Due to Rain, and Subway Firecracker 250 on hold pending weather

Saturday, Jul 04 2403
It seems as though the curse of bad weather that has plagued the Daytona International Speedway in recent years has once again reared it's ugly head, as qualifying for Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca Cola was rained out Saturday, giving the pole position to Dale Earnhardt Jr., based on his chart-topping, 200 mph-plus practice speed. 

Earnhardt led the first of two practice sessions on Friday in the No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, with a fast lap of 202.284 miles per hour – one of 14 drivers to post fast laps exceeding 200 mph. Austin Dillon will start second in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, on the strength of his 202.066 lap. 

As of 6:00 p.m., the competitors in the Xfinity garage were also scratching their heads and staring towards the western sky as the thunder boomed and a light rain continued to fall. According to local radar estimates, light rain is expected to continue for at least the next two hours, putting the start of tonight's Subway Firecracker 250 into doubt. As of 6:45 p.m., driver introductions were on hold, and track announcements and the jumbotron advised spectators to clear the grandstands and seek cover.

Following numerous weather related delays in 2014, NASCAR instituted a new procedure, setting fields based on speeds from a weekend’s first practice session, when qualifying is cancelled. Previously, fields were set based on season point standing. Earnhardt said that with rain in the Saturday forecast, there was extra effort to find serious speed in practice.

Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola – set for 7:45 p.m. Sunday – can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP  or visiting

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for, where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of

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