NASCAR executive explains why Xfinity race was postponed to Saturday at Daytona


Could Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity race been run later that evening instead of being postponed to Saturday afternoon because of rain?

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained on “The Morning Drive” the decision to delay the race, which was halted after 11 of 100 laps.

“The decision on when or when not to continue racing really depends on how much time you have left in the race, how long it’s going to take to dry and what do we think is a reasonable time to potentially end the race,’’ O’Donnell said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “Friday night, we were staring well past 1 (a.m. finish), which really made no sense to us for the fans in the stands. You’ve (also) got to consider the long day for the competitors and the crews and putting them in unsafe conditions as well.’’

O’Donnell was asked about the 2015 July Cup race at Daytona, which ended at about 2:40 a.m. after rain delayed the start until after 11 p.m.

“I think the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over,’’ O’Donnell said. “That’s a lesson learned. When you run past 1:30 (a.m.), you may think it’s the right thing to do at that time, which we all did. In hindsight, you always review, like we talk about every weekend, what could we have done better, what’s best for the fans. In that case, that was one of those that if we had to do it over again, we definitely wouldn’t have run that late, and you saw us make that adjustment Friday night.’’

O’Donnell also was asked about Kyle Larson’s car getting airborne in Saturday’s Cup race:

“Each situation is unique and we can always learn from each one. At times, it’s certainly the angle of which a car gets around and but then what, if any, impact and where does it occur on the race track. We’ll certainly look at this.

“Very happy with the roof flaps getting the car back on the ground, for sure. Again, you never want to see a car get up in the air in any circumstance. That’s what we do up in the R&D Center. We’ll take a long look at that. If there’s anything we can do to make a quick correction, we’ll do that.’’

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