- NASCAR officials told fans to leave the stands because of the potential for a tornado
- Spokesman: "We're hopeful to have the Daytona 500 back to green flag racing later today"
- The race was stopped after 38 of the 200 laps were completed
(CNN) -- The season-opening Daytona 500 race was delayed because of rain, and NASCAR officials told spectators to leave the stands because of the potential for a tornado near the track in northeastern Florida.
The 150,000 fans were told to take necessary precautions after weather radar indicated conditions were favorable for an imminent tornado.
The National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida, later canceled the tornado warning for parts of Volusia County, including the area around the Daytona International Speedway.
"The safety of our race fans is always a primary concern. We have a detailed plan in place to monitor weather and if necessary, communicate to our fans," said Lenny Santiago, spokesman at Daytona International Speedway.
"NASCAR's Air Titan is currently on-track attempting to dry the racing surface, and we're hopeful to have the Daytona 500 back to green flag racing later today," he added.
The race was stopped after 38 of the 200 laps were completed.