This weekend the NASCAR circuit heads to Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series STP 400 and Camping World Truck Series SFP 250. The weather has been all over the place in this area of the country in the past week or so, but it looks like for the most part we may luck out this weekend. Here are the details of your NASCAR race weekend forecast.
The weekend is off to a very chilly start, with temperatures only rising into the low 50s this afternoon for practice and Sprint Cup qualifying. On top of that, it’s windy with gusts up to 25 mph expected through the afternoon hours, and that’s just going to make it feel even colder. For those camping tonight or arriving at the track early Saturday morning, temperatures are going to bottom out around 30-32 degrees, and there will be frost possible. Yes, this is late April folks!
The forecast does at least get warmer as the weekend wears on. Temperatures will still be in the middle 50s at the start of the SFP 250 at 12:30pm Saturday, but top out in the low 60s as the green flag drops, and only drop into the upper 40s to near 50 degrees Saturday night. Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy, and we’ll see winds switch around to the southeast at 10-15 mph, helping to bring in the warmer air. All looks good for the Truck Series race to get in as scheduled.
On Sunday, things do get a little trickier. Current forecast models show the possibility of a weak disturbance passing through Sunday morning and exiting the area by around or just after noon that could spark a quick shower or even thunderstorm. The better chances for rain and thunderstorms, however, will hold off until Monday. So be prepared for a passing shower on Sunday that could even affect the start of the race, but at this point chances appear low enough that I am not terribly concerned about any major delays or a postponement. Anything that does develop should be brief. The main concern would be for any campers planning on remaining at the track Sunday night and Monday morning after the race, as there could be some strong to severe storms on Monday, so you may not want to prolong the weekend any more than you have to.
Aside from the small chance for showers Sunday, look for an increase in the winds Sunday morning and afternoon as well. They’ll be out of the south at 15-20 mph with gusts as high as 25-30 mph possible. This could affect the drivers as well, as there will be a bit of a crosswind at times coming out of turns two and four that could get them out of shape. Temperatures will be similar to Saturday, in the upper 50s for the scheduled start of the STP 400 just after noon, and topping out in the lower 60s.
It’s back to the East Coast and night racing next weekend as the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series head off to Richmond, Virginia for racing Friday and Saturday night. An early look at the more reliable models shows favorable weather hanging on for both events, albeit with slightly cooler than normal temperatures, but other models indicating some potential issues with wet weather. Check back in with us next week as I break down the forecast for the Richmond International Raceway race weekend!