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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Aric Almirola has the lead at Daytona International Speedway while the Coke Zero 400 sits under a third red flag, the second for a rain delay Sunday.

The red flag was thrown at 2 p.m. ET as another thundershower soaked the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Almirola has never won a Sprint Cup race. He drives for Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty won his last Cup race -- and his 200th -- 30 years ago at this track.

The last time the No. 43 car was in victory lane was at Martinsville Speedway, when John Andretti won in 1999. That was 543 races ago.

"I've never been in this position," Almirola said from pit road during the rain delay. "We've been able to hang up there (up front). I'm not gonna lie. I wish the good Lord would just dump a rain shower on us right now.

"We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Danica Patrick managed to avoid major damage to her car in two separate big pileups. She is one of just 16 cars remaining on the lead lap.

"Here we are, with less than 50 to go. There's a lot less to lose than normal," Patrick said during the rain delay. "It would be fun to go back at it. You just gotta have people behind you willing to make something happen."

If NASCAR cannot get the race restarted, the top 10 is listed as: Almirola, Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch, Casey Mears, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell, Patrick, Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose.

12:07 p.m. ET: NASCAR's second Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile layout has restarted at 12:07 p.m. ET after a red flag for rain.

It didn't take long Sunday before weather once again affected the Coke Zero 400.

Yellow flags waved when rain began falling at Daytona International Speedway at 11:26 a.m. ET, delaying yet again a race that's been interrupted because of weather since Friday's qualifying sessions.

The race started at 11:20 a.m., but radar indicated showers approaching from the southwest. Five minutes later, the yellow was shown with Matt Kenseth leading after just six laps.

NASCAR attempted to restart, but rain that had popped up in Turn 2 was spreading.

"Light rain pretty much everywhere around the track. I would say we're not good to go here," said Brad Keselowski via radio.

A red flag waved at 11:36, bringing the cars to pit road.

VIDEO: How NASCAR's Air Titan works

The leader needs to finish 81 of the scheduled 160 laps for the race to be considered complete.

NASCAR has Air Titan 2 at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. A completely wet track would take about two hours to dry. After getting soaked Saturday night, causing the race to be moved to Sunday morning, another issue NASCAR could be facing if the rain continues is weepers. Those occur when water starts seeping up from under the asphalt.

David Gilliland started from the pole position, having garnered the No. 1 slot when he was leading Friday's first qualifying session when it was interrupted because of rain. The final two sessions were canceled.

The last time NASCAR's traditional July 4 weekend Cup race was run during the day was 1997, when John Andretti won.

Follow Olson on Twitter @jeffolson77

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