Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Shower risk may add a challenge to NASCAR drivers at Watkins Glen this weekend

Shower risk may add a challenge to NASCAR drivers at Watkins Glen this weekend
02 Aug

Enough humid air may remain to spawn spotty thunderstorms in the Appalachians and pester NASCAR racing activities at Watkins Glen, New York, this weekend.

The weather pattern in the eastern United States that produced rounds of heavy rain and flooding last week is still reaching its peak this week.

Depending on the amount of rain that falls into Friday, fans heading to the area may encounter high water along small streams in the valleys in the region.

Static East Late Week

Motorists are urged not to attempt to drive through flooded areas as the road surface may have been compromised and the water may be much deeper than it appears.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay alert for thunderstorms and flooding dangers.

After the risk of rain interfering with practice sessions on Friday, the bulk of the wet weather will leave the southern tier of New York state.

However, instead of a strong push of dry air in the wake of downpours in the eastern U.S., humidity levels will remain high.

Spotty showers in lieu of gusty thunderstorms may add some levels of difficulty for drivers and excitement for fans attending race activities at The Glen this weekend.

“We often see thunderstorms pop along a breeze that develops along the Lake Erie shoreline on humid days in the summer,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda.

Static Watkins Glen Race Forecast 10 am

“These storms tend to drift eastward across the southern tier of New York and the northern tier of Pennsylvania during the afternoon and early evening,” Sojda said.

The track at Watkins Glen International is located on top of a mountain, just southwest of Lake Seneca, New York. Summer thunderstorms tend to occur more often over the mountains than in the valleys.

While rain is not a certainty for the NASCAR Xfinity series race on Saturday and the NASCAR Monster Energy series GoBowling at the Glen races on Sunday, there is a chance a storm wanders over the course during the afternoon and early evening hours. The green flag for both races is scheduled to be at 3 p.m. EDT.

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Despite the risk of a storm where fans may need to take shelter from lightning, the vast majority of the time will be free of rain on Saturday and Sunday.

Racing in the rain is possible at Watkins Glen International

Should rain come calling, slick tires can be swapped for rain tires, since the track at Watkins Glen is a road course with lower speeds when compared to the oval tracks.

On speedway ovals, rain can stop a stock car race in its tracks, according to David Ragan, American professional stock car racing driver.

Static AP Glen 2017

Stock cars head into one of many turns during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“[However] we will race in the rain at a road course event and that’s because you don’t have the high speed corners like you do at Michigan or Talladega, with 180 mph in the middle of a corner, “ Ragan told AccuWeather. “With road racing, you can stop in a straight line, you can corner, you can accelerate in a straight line and it’s a little easier to navigate vs. the high speed covers at the ovals.”

Ragan currently drives the No. 38 Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports.

If rain begins after the race as started, then crews may change to rain tires at their discretion, according to NASCAR.com. If rain begins before the start of the rain, then all crews must switch to rain tires.

Watkins Glen International is one of three road course tracks on the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR circuit including Sonoma Raceway, California, and the recently modified track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina.

The conversion at Charlotte was done to add a road course venue during the fall playoffs.

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Source: https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/shower-risk-may-add-a-challenge-to-nascar-drivers-at-watkins-glen-this-weekend/70005659


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