There may be no sport more impacted by weather than auto racing. Regardless of where you stand on the spectrum of whether it is truly a sport or not, racing cannot stand wet weather. Oval tracks around the country, from the local bullrings to the massive superspeedways, are not built for rainy driving, often having water drain off the surface by rolling down the banking. Furthermore, race tires are not built to wick away the rain, instead having a smooth slick surface for grip.
Why is this important on this Halloween weekend? NASCAR is racing this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, where rain is in the forecast. The beginning of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Round of 8 could be delayed or even postponed because of the weather. So what should NASCAR fans do to prepare?
Fortunately, most of the rain in the forecast appears to be late Saturday night and into early Sunday. The cold front that has dug in cooler temperatures across the nation’s midsection will push through early Sunday morning in Martinsville, bringing in the wet weather with it. The rain may be heavy at times overnight, but should clear out between noon and 2 pm on Sunday. This would mean potentially delaying or canceling Cup Series qualifying.
Beyond the potential rain delay for qualifying and pre-race festivities on Sunday, the cold temperatures will dictate some of what NASCAR must do to get the track ready for racing. With rain soaking the surface at Martinsville, the track will need to be dried, which could be made more difficult by the cooler conditions. Fans should also be prepared by dressing appropriately for the weather, with temperatures likely dropping throughout the race from near 60 to near 50.
Always stay weather aware when heading out to sporting events in your area. Check the forecast first from the National Weather Service or your trusted local news station. Coverage of tomorrow’s First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway can be seen starting at 12:30 pm eastern live on NBCSN.