news 3 days ago

Daytona 500 weather: Is there rain in the forecast & will it impact NASCAR's race in 2020?

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

There always seems to be a chance of rain in Daytona Beach. That's the case once again this weekend, and there's a chance it could disrupt the Daytona 500.

The race is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, and while most are optimistic about conditions this weekend, forecasts are calling for partly cloudy weather throughout the day with a slight chance of showers in the afternoon and evening.

According to weather.com, NASCAR fans can expect intervals of clouds and sunshine in the morning with a 20 percent chance of rain. It bumps up to a 40 percent chance of rain in the afternoon and evening, though, as more clouds move in throughout the day.

​MORE: Daytona 500 starting lineup | NASCAR 2020 schedule

AccuWeather projects a 52 percent probability of rain in the afternoon, calling for one or two showers throughout the day and a shower in the evening. 

“For the big race on Sunday, fans can expect a mix of clouds and sun overhead with temperatures in the middle 70s for the start of the race,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Carl Erickson said. “Fans will want to make sure they have sunglasses and sunscreen on hand."

On Thursday, a rain shower delayed the start of the first race at the Bluegreen Vacation Duels at Daytona International Speedway, a set of qualifying races that decided the starting order for Sunday’s race.

Rain of any kind is never a good sign for racing, as NASCAR drivers typically use slicker tires that struggle to gain traction, causing them to slide whenever rain falls on the track. If it begins to rain during a race, the red flag will go up and the race will be put on hold until the rain stops and the track can be dried. If rain persists, which seems unlikely on Sunday given the current forecasts, races can be delayed for hours or even postponed to the next day.