Lightning, rain place Daytona 500 on hold in Stage 1

Rain and lightning have delayed the 63rd annual Daytona 500 for the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway.

Rain and lightning in the Daytona Beach, Florida area have halted the 63rd annual Daytona 500 for the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway.

A lightning strike forced a 30-minute hold on at-track activities, and attendees were instructed to seek shelter at 3:29 p.m. ET. Kevin Harvick was scored as the race leader with 15 laps complete.

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Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman started from the pole position for the 200-lap race, but his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsport Chevrolet was snared in a multi-car crash on Lap 14, thinning the field of several contenders.

A fleet of 19 Air Titans, 10 jet dryers, two vacuums and two sweepers are at the 2.5-mile speedway for track-drying efforts.

NASCAR.com will continue to monitor the weather situation and provide further weather updates once they become available.

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