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Daytona 500 resumes after 5-hour plus rain delay

NASCAR’s signature event was halted after 15 laps because of lightning and then heavy rain.
Credit: AP
A fan waits during a weather delay in the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — At 9:08 p.m., the Daytona 500 resumed after a weather delay that lasted more than five hours and prompted several drivers to make fast-food runs outside the track.

Kevin Harvick was out front when the race restarted under caution with 185 laps remaining.

NASCAR’s signature event was halted after 15 laps because of lightning and then heavy rain. With radar showing a lengthy delay, at least three drivers hit the road to grab some grub.

Drivers Chase Briscoe, Ross Chastain and Tyler Reddick used the red flag to refuel, giving new meaning to fast food. The drivers left the track and made quick trips across the street to grab some grub.

Briscoe's wife, Marissa, tweeted a photo of Chase wearing his firesuit in the drive-thru at Panda Express.

Ross Chastain followed suit a short time late and posted a pic of him in the drive-thru at McDonald's, a sponsor. He noted that this is “rain delays in '21.”

Reddick sat down inside Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, also a sponsor, and ate some chicken pot pie, saying “some much needed comfort food.”

Credit: AP
CORRECTS TO 14TH LAP, NOT 13TH AS ORIGINALLY SENT - Cars collide on the 14th lap during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

NASCAR's season opener was halted after 15 laps because of lightning and then heavy rain. The 2 1/2-mile track takes hours to dry. Sixteen cars, including the one driven by Reddick, were involved in a huge crash 14 laps into the race.

Lightning in the area a few minutes later prompted officials to clear the motorsports stadium, send socially distanced fans into a crowded space. Drivers got out of their cars, and once the rain hit, they hit the road.