Sunday's running of the Great American Race was plagued by delays caused bya hole in the track, which could have been aggravated by heavy rains and cooltemperatures.Record cold in Florida during the first week of January, accompanied by severestorms hitting the area last week, could have caused the pavement to becomegouged between turns 1 and 2 of Daytona International Speedway.
NASCAR and track officials examine a pothole in the trackduring the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway inDaytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/RussellWilliams)While Daytona hasn't been repaved since 1977, old age is definitely a factor inthe track's most recent problems, but this likely not the only factor.Above-normal rainfall so far for the month of February could have alsosignificantly impacted the asphalt.
The normal rainfall total for February is 1.49 inches, which has already beenbroken by the current total of 2.69 inches so far for the month.
Below-freezing temperatures affecting the citrus groves also brought similarcold to Daytona in early January. Pavement cracks are much more likely incolder climates, which usually isn't an issue for Florida.
Sunday's Daytona 500 was chillier than usual, sporting a high of only 55 F.
Two red flag stops and delays adding up to more than two hours interruptedDaytona's biggest race. The pothole was nearly 2 inches deep and roughly 9 by15 inches in size.
The initial fix of the pothole didn't work, and the second round of maintenancewas also unsuccessful. The hole had begun to reopen by the end of the 200-laprace.
Several upcoming events, including Bike Week, will utilize the track beginningMarch 5. There has been no official word about when the track will berepaved.
The Sprint Cup returns to Daytona in July.
Upcoming Race WeatherThe Sprint Cup heads to Fontana, Calif., on Sunday, where highs will be inthe upper 50s under mostly cloudy skies.
Story by AccuWeather.com's Carly Porter.