NASCAR: Race Weekend Weather Forecast


The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series is headed to New England this weekend with Hew Hampshire Motor Speedway the next stop on the schedule.  Meanwhile the Camping World Trucks will be halfway across the country at Iowa Speedway.  I’ve heard a few grumblings about the forecast this week and saw that the local National Weather Service had some rain in their forecast as of yesterday, but they’ve since changed their tune and it sounds a whole lot more like the song I’m singing.

September 23, 2012; Loudon, NH, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Jeff Gordon (24) Tony Stewart (14) and Kyle Busch (18) lead the field during the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

While I am still waiting for that perfect, sunny and mild forecast to come around one of these race weekends, this one is at least closer to that utopia.  Actually, I can’t find much at all wrong with the forecast for Saturday night’s Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway.  The action kicks off this afternoon with practice and culminates with the race starting at around 8:40pm ET Saturday night.  All I see over the next two days there in Newton Iowa is a few clouds, but no chance of rain.  It will be breezy today, but winds look to die down considerably tomorrow and should not be a factor.  It’s a simple forecast with highs in the middle 80s and overnight lows in the middle 60s. Green flag temperatures will be around 82 degrees tomorrow night, but I think we’ll shave off about 10 degrees from there by the end of the race.

Over in New Hampshire we’re racing under daylight instead, and I think we’ll see a good bit of that big yellow ball in the sky (that’s the sun for those of you who live in the southeast… I know you haven’t seen much of it lately).  The forecast isn’t quite as simple here for this weekend, but that’s not going to keep me from calling for a dry weekend.  High pressure looks dominant to me, and while some models are painting in some small rain chances, I don’t think there is going to be enough to affect the racing.

The only other issue is the temperatures.  Teams will be practicing and qualifying today with temperatures in the low 80s at best, and only a couple degrees warmer on Saturday.  But for the Sprint Cup teams, race conditions are going to be hotter, by as much as 10 degrees possibly, resulting in an even greater difference in track temps.  This may throw some teams a curve ball on their setups.  For fans in attendance, this also means you’ll need to be prepared for warmer temperatures than typical of New Hampshire in July.

So here are the details for New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend.  For Saturday’s CNBC Prime’s the Profit 200 Nationwide Series race, expect partly cloudy skies and temperatures around 82 degrees for the 3:45pm ET start.  That will also be the high temperature for the day.  We’ll only cool a couple of degrees to near 80 at the end of the race, if at all.  Winds will be light out of the south and not a factor.  For those camping at the track, temperatures will drop to around 63 degrees overnight, so overall it looks like good camping weather.

If there’s going to be a surprise pop up shower this weekend, it looks like it would be on Sunday, but with that high pressure ridge in control, I am not worried about anything organized or long-lasting.  We’ll call it partly cloudy again, but high temperatures will be in the 90-92 degree range on Sunday.  With a scheduled start just after 1pm, temperatures will get hotter as the race moves along, starting near 87 degrees for the green flag and ending near the high for the day at 91 degrees. Humidity won’t be unbearable, but may add a couple degrees to the feel of the air.  A little hot, but at least we’ll be racing.

Next weekend is a rare weekend off for the Sprint Cup Series before they go on a stretch of racing that will be topped off by crowning the 2013 series champion.  The next stop on the schedule is in two weeks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400.  By now many of you may know that I like to tout my long range forecasts, but even I’m not going to try to call rain or no rain two weeks out.  If late July looks close to what I expect it to look like though, we’ll probably have slightly warmer than normal temperatures and some showers to dodge in the forecast at some point over that weekend. Enjoy this weekend’s racing and don’t forget to check in with me in a couple of weeks for not only the Brickyard forecast, but also a little dirt track race with some trucks that’s been circled on my calendar for months now!