NASCAR goes back to its roots again this weekend with short track racing under the lights as the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series take on Richmond International Raceway Friday and Saturday night. Much of the eastern half of the nation has been struggling to shake off the winter season cold, (even down here in Texas, where it dropped down into the 40s Wednesday morning in Houston) and temperatures look to remain below seasonal norms again this weekend. Here’s a look at your NASCAR race weekend weather forecast.
While it may be a little chilly at times this weekend, especially considering it is now late April, I’ll go ahead and give you the good news… it’s going to be dry. High pressure will be in control of the weather on Friday, and looks like it will hang on through Saturday night as well, with the next storm system not expected to bring rain to the Richmond area until Sunday afternoon and evening. We’ll have no trouble getting all the races in on time this weekend.
But before we get to Friday and Saturday’s events, we’ve got Denny Hamlin’s Short Track Showdown Late Model race tonight at 8:30pm ET. Clear skies are in the forecast, but you’ll need to bundle up if you plan to be there as temperatures will be in the low 50s at the start of the race and cool into the upper 40s by the end. And if you plan to stay the night at RIR, prepare for overnight lows in the low 40s.
The weather looks good for all the on-track festivities on Friday, including qualifying for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Expect mostly clear skies for Friday night’s NNS Toyota Care 250, with green flag temperatures still around 60 degrees after a daytime high in the middle 60s. Temperatures will cool off quickly throughout the race with the clear skies overhead, so we should be down to the low 50s by the drop of the checkers. Winds will be light, so not too much of a wind chill is expected at least. For those camping at the track, temperatures will drop to around 44 degrees by Saturday morning, so keep the jacket and extra blankets handy.
Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast for Saturday, allowing temperatures to warm up nicely to around 71 degrees for the high of the day, which should occur around 4pm ET. By the time the Toyota Owners 400 begins just after 7:30pm ET, temperatures will have already dropped a few degrees to around 66, and will continue to drop into the middle 50s by the end of the race. I’m expecting light winds on Saturday as well, generally 3-7 mph or less, and perhaps calm by evening. We should see a few more clouds than on Friday, but overall nice, albeit a bit crisp, weather is expected for the Sprint Cup Series race.
I know we’ve got some great racing ahead of us this weekend, but who else is excited about Talladega coming up?! With uncertainties revolving around a large low pressure system likely to set up shop over the eastern half of the US late next week and next weekend, I’m not even going to touch that forecast this far out, but suffice to say it’ll be a tricky one. You know where to find me- check in with us here at BeyondTheFlag.com for the Talladega forecast next week!