How Landon Cassill Spent The 2012 Daytona 500 Rain Delay

Many people in the NASCAR industry will tell you there's nothing worse than rain at a racetrack, and there's plenty of truth in that statement.

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Rain means no racing, which means boredom and frustration and disappointment for fans and drivers alike.

But when NASCAR again rescheduled the start time of the 2012 Daytona 500 on Monday – giving everyone in Daytona more than eight hours to kill before the 7 p.m. green flag – one driver found a unique way to pass the time.

Landon Cassill, who will make his Daytona 500 debut in tonight's race, hung out with fans at a nearby Burger King for nearly two hours, then invited the group to play miniature golf with him on Daytona Beach.

For the nine fans who took Cassill up on his offer, race day at Daytona was an entirely new and memorable experience.

"This has been the craziest day of my life," said a fan known as @markvphotos on Twitter.

"I can't believe we're playing mini-golf with a Daytona 500 driver on the day of the Daytona 500," said @shannonmariep, who was celebrating her 25th birthday.

Cassill met the fans in Burger King (he had tweeted an invitation) and handed out free Whopper certificates on behalf of his BK Racing team. The group sat casually in the middle of the restaurant and chatted about all things racing while autograph seekers and the store's management occasionally interrupted to ask Cassill for a photo or a signature.

For the most part, though, Cassill isn't well known. He's run 48 career races but has never finished higher than 12th.

One of the Burger King employees even mistook him for Tony Stewart; another saw the Burger King logo on his red sweater and asked what store he worked at.


When it was time for mini-golf, the group piled into four cars and made the drive to the beach. Cassill, a putt-putt aficionado, had selected the course and ultimately won the round.

The fans alternated between enjoying the game and snapping photos of Cassill playing, as if occasionally needing to pinch themselves that, yes, this was really happening.

One of the fans – @felipegana on Twitter – had made the trip to Daytona all the way from Chile to see NASCAR's biggest race. Gana had never before played mini-golf – apparently there aren't many courses in Chile – and said he found the entire experience surreal.

Cassill, a 22-year old Iowa native who prides himself on being unconventional, has been known to take such outside-the-box excursions before.

In 2008, he was in Mexico City for the Nationwide Series race and ventured out to a street market against the advice of NASCAR security. Once there, he saw a little boy with a soccer ball and ended up kicking the ball around with the kid; they became fast friends despite the language barrier.

Now with a full-time Sprint Cup Series ride in the No. 83 car, Cassill hasn't changed a bit.

The nine fans who joined him for burgers and mini-golf just hours the biggest race of his life hope he never does.


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