The weather in Martinsville, Virginia has been absolutely miserable the past couple days with snow even falling on the speedway Thursday. But just in time for cars (and trucks!) to get rolling, the forecast is looking brighter for this weekend at NASCAR’s oldest track.
Thursday’s weather at Martinsville Speedway was a southern weather nerd’s dream. A wedge of cold air trapped up against the Appalachian Mountains combined with lots of moisture coming in from the Gulf of Mexico brought sleet, freezing rain, snow and then a cold and miserable rain to the area yesterday, and has left the track in a fog this morning. Looking at the observations from this morning around 1:15am, it was 35 degrees with “heavy drizzle” falling. It just doesn’t get much worse than that, in my opinion, but to see the variety of wintry weather that parts of the Southeast have seen in the past 24 hours, in early April no less, has been fun to watch from the cozy old weather desk here in Houston, Texas!
Enough with the past though- we’ve had nearly two weeks without any NASCAR racing, and if you’re like me you don’t want to wait any longer. The Camping World Truck Series is scheduled to start running laps in practice this morning at 9am, and getting things going on time will be important since their “happy hour” is supposed to end at 11:50am. While the radar looks very promising, with the last of the showers falling apart and/or pushing east of the speedway, we may have to deal with fog this morning that could be slow to break up. Looking at area web cams, it doesn’t appear to be very thick, and I don’t see any obvious signs of drizzle or mist, so perhaps with some help from Air Titan, we can get practice started on time and give the trucks the time they need to log some laps and tune their setups.
By this afternoon, we should be gradually clearing things out quite nicely, so I don’t see any problems getting Sprint Cup Series practice going on time, unless there is a delay in getting the trucks on the track and NASCAR decides to give them extra time at the expense of the Sprint Cup practice. Whatever happens, the weather looks fine for qualifying for both series this afternoon, starting with the Cup Series at 3:40pm ET. It’s still going to be cold, with temperatures only rising into the low-mid 50s this afternoon, but fortunately at least the winds will be fairly light, generally in the 5-10 mph range out of the north.
The rest of the weekend will just keep getting better and better. After a chilly morning Saturday with low temperatures close to the freezing mark, we’ll warm up to around 60 degrees in the afternoon with a mix of sun and a few clouds expected, and winds will remain light. The Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 is set for a 1:30pm ET start, and temperatures are expected to be around 54 degrees at the drop of the green flag before getting close to that 60 degree high temperature when the race ends. No weather issues will stop this race from getting completed.
It’s going to be another cold start to the day on Sunday with morning lows in the mid-upper 30s, but if you’ll be at the track you will be really happy about the weather by afternoon. Mostly sunny skies and dry air, along with winds shifting around to the southwest will allow temperatures to rise quickly once the sun comes up. The green flag will wave over the STP Gas Booster 500 just after 1pm ET, when temperatures will have risen to near 61 degrees, and we should finish the race with temperatures in the upper 60s… not too bad considering it was snowing on the track yesterday.
Next week the schedule takes us to the Lone Star State where the Nationwide Series will return after a long break, and the Sprint Cup Series of course will take center stage on Saturday night. The pressure will be on me as I forecast for the state in which I currently live, but as of now it looks like I may have it easy. Be sure to check in with us here at BeyondTheFlag.com next Thursday for your Texas Motor Speedway forecast.