DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Teeth chattering, hands shaking, stomach churning, Justin Haley anxiously waited for NASCAR to pull the plug on a rain-wrecked weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
A 500-1 longshot making just his third career Cup start, Haley won the rain-postponed, rain-shortened race at Daytona on Sunday. He inherited the lead after a 17-car accident decimated the field and a lightning strike forced NASCAR to stop the race.
Haley waited out the delay in a conference room inside the historic speedway, admittedly too nervous to do more than pray for the skies to open and the race to be called once and for all.
The wait of 2 hours, 12 minutes was well worth it for the 20-year-old Indiana native driving for first-year team Spire Motorsports. They celebrated in a makeshift indoor victory lane and were warmly greeted by manufacturer Chevrolet, which has now won two straight races after a miserable start to the season.