Here's Why the Daytona 24 Wasn't Quite 24 Hours

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Here's Why the Daytona 24 Wasn't Quite 24 HoursIcon Sportswire - Getty Images

Saturday and Sunday's 24 Hours of Daytona ended early, with the checkered flag waving while the official clock on both the race broadcast and the track's infield showed more than a minute left in the event. According to IMSA, the event ended earlier than planned due to an "officiating error in race control."

In a statement released Monday, the sanctioning body says that the error caused the white flag to be displayed with less than three minutes remaining in the race and the checkered flag to be thrown with 1 minute and 36 seconds left in the event for a final official event time of 23 hours, 58 minutes, and 24 seconds. By a rule already written in the series rulebook for this eventuality, the race officially ended when the checkered flag was thrown despite the error.

The mistake is a fun and unusual footnote, making the event a nearly 24-hour race finished in record time without officially being called off early. The early finish did not realistically factor into any of the four major class wins or podium battles, as the two most competitive battles for a class win on track were already divided by a gap of more than two seconds when the white and checkered flags flew. Penske Porsche will be able to keep its victory without any sort of asterisk, ensuring that Felipe Nasr's spectacular final stint was in fact a race-winning effort.

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