Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

NASCAR faces concerning New Hampshire forecast

Two of the national NASCAR series are in action this weekend at New Hampshire. However, the forecast creates concerns about possible delays on Saturday and Sunday.

According to the WeatherUnderground forecast, Saturday will see rain showers early in the morning and then steady rainfall as the day progresses. There is a 70% chance of rain and an estimated quarter-inch of accumulation. There is a 66% chance of rain at the start of the Xfinity Series race (3:30 p.m. ET).

Sunday's forecast is equally upsetting for race fans. There is a 60% chance of rain throughout the day and possible scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. The forecast calls for a 50% chance of rain at the start of the Cup race (2:30 p.m. ET).

New Hampshire Motor Speedway falls into the category of short tracks, so the wet weather package is available. The teams will have defoggers on their cars, and they will have access to Rain-X for the windshields. NASCAR teams no longer have windshield wipers.

Goodyear stated in its weekly release that the teams will have a maximum of four sets of wet-weather tires. This way the teams can race in damp conditions as they have at Richmond and North Wilkesboro in the past. They just can't race in the rain.

Any delays will create concerns about NASCAR either shortening the races or postponing them entirely. New Hampshire does not have lights, so Cup and Xfinity teams can not race late into the night.

This is not the first time there have been concerns about inclement weather at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The forecast ahead of last season's race weekend also called for rainfall and thunderstorms Friday through Sunday.

The Xfinity teams were able to complete the race on the scheduled day as John Hunter Nemechek scored the win. Cup teams, however, had to wait until Monday, July 17, 2023, due to rain at the 1.058-mile track.

Weather also posed problems during the 2021 Cup race at New Hampshire. Rain began to fall in the opening laps of the event, which led to Kyle Busch and other drivers crashing.

Rain caused a red flag delay lasting nearly two hours, which pushed the race into the evening. NASCAR ultimately shortened the race due to darkness as Aric Almirola won his way into the playoffs.