Daytona 500: 2012 NASCAR Season Opener Finally Underway After Delay

The 54th running of the Daytona 500 is finally underway.

For the first time in NASCAR history, the Sprint Cup Series is running a Monday night primetime race thanks to a postponement of the race on Sunday – which was also unprecedented.

Leonard Wood of the Wood Brothers Racing team fame gave the command to fire engines – "Lady and gentlemen, start your engines!" he said – at 7:01 p.m. EST. That was nearly 32 hours after the originally scheduled start time.

And then finally, after the two-month offseason, pole-sitter Carl Edwards took the green flag at 7:14 p.m.

The Daytona 500 was supposed to begin shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday, but rain ruined those plans. NASCAR postponed the race to noon Monday, but the persistent bad weather forced officials to try again at 7 p.m.

The radar looks mostly clear now, and forecasters expect NASCAR will get all 500 miles in tonight.

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