Talladega Forecast Sets Up Long NASCAR Weekend

YellaWood 500

Getty Rain brought the 2021 YellaWood 500 to an early end.

All three NASCAR series are in action on September 30-October 2 as the playoffs continue at Talladega Superspeedway. This weekend will potentially feature multiple weather delays based on the foreboding forecast and Hurricane Ian hitting Florida.

According to AccuWeather, there is a 39% chance of rainfall at the superspeedway on Friday, September 30. This will pose some problems for the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series drivers as both of their qualifying sessions take place that afternoon and into the evening. If the rain washes out the sessions, NASCAR will have to set the starting lineups with its formula.

The two series will hold their respective playoff races on Saturday, October 1 as part of a doubleheader. There is a 25% chance of rain in the morning and afternoon, which could have an impact on the 12:30 p.m. ET (FS1) and 4 p.m. ET (USA) start times. The evening calls for a 90% chance of rain. Though this will be a moot point since Talladega Superspeedway doesn’t have lights.

The Cup Series Race Could Have Multiple Issues

Talladega Superspeedway

GettyTrack crews attempt to dry Talladega Superspeedway.

The YellaWood 500 will take place on Sunday, October 2, at 2 p.m. ET (NBC). This race will be the second of the Round of 12, and it will serve as an opportunity for multiple drivers to survive the chaos and score some crucial points after a caution-filled trip to Texas Motor Speedway.

There is a possibility that there will be multiple weather-related issues during the pivotal playoff race. AccuWeather calls for a 25% chance of rain on Sunday while the iOS weather app lists a 30% chance of rain.

The 2021 race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway featured multiple races that were cut short. Brandon Brown won the darkness-shortened Xfinity Series race — which also featured a rain delay — and took his first trip to Victory Lane. One day later, Bubba Wallace won his first career Cup Series race after heavy rainfall and approaching darkness cut the YellaWood 500 short.

Based on the forecast, there is a possibility that the rain will play a factor in the playoff weekend once again. If so, this could lead to even more aggressive driving at a track known for an astounding amount of chaos. This will likely lead to more wrecks and some playoff contenders heading to the garage early in must-win situations.

The Rain Could Send Several Drivers Home

Xfinity Series

GettyXfinity Series drivers wait on pit road during a rain delay.

If the rain messes with the weekend schedule, it will potentially have the smallest impact on the Cup Series field. There are only 37 cars on the entry list, so all will make the starting lineup if rain washes out the qualifying session.

The Truck Series and Xfinity Series fields tell a different story. Both series have 41 drivers on the respective entry lists. Only 36 can make the Truck Series starting lineup while only 38 can make the Xfinity Series starting lineup.

There will be multiple drivers heading home early based on the number of entries, but the rain could remove several opportunities for drivers making one-off starts. This list includes Joe Nemechek (Sam Hunt Racing), Jeffrey Earnhardt (Emerling-Gase Motorsports), and Ronnie Bassett Jr. (Bassett Racing) in the Xfinity Series.

The Truck Series field, for comparison, could be without Corey Roper (Roper Racing), Jennifer Jo Cobb (Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing), Clay Greenfield (Cook Racing Technologies), Bryan Dauzat (FDNY Racing), and Tim Viens (G2G Racing).

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