How Will NASCAR Conduct a Race in the Rain at the Charlotte Roval?

Published 10/10/2020, 2:25 PM EDT
Oct 4, 2020; Lincoln, Alabama, USA; Fans watch during the restart of the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports


This weekend, the NASCAR paddock touches down at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. However, all eyes will be trained towards the skies, as the forecast looks quite grim. In light of this, the race director for the Cup, Xfinity, and Truck Series can declare a “wet” or “damp” start. All this will follow the guidelines that the NASCAR rule book has laid down.

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According to that definition, when the entire racing surface is covered with moisture, that denotes a wet start. On the other end of the spectrum, where the race track has a mix of moist and dry areas, then it qualifies as a damp start. Finally, in the event of a heavy downpour, if there is a suspicion that the conditions are too dangerous, the race director can stop that race.

How does NASCAR tackle the wet and the damp starts?

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It is also worth noting that both starts require different starting procedures. In the event of a wet weather start, it is mandatory for all vehicles to fit rain tires. In addition to that, every driver has to activate their rear flashing light and have a working windshield wiper installed.

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Meanwhile, if there is a damp start, the respective crew chiefs have the option of fitting rain tires. In addition to that, windshield wipers are not mandatory, but the rear flashing light must be activated. When the green flag is waved, the pit window will open and allow teams to change tires to dry-weather slicks.

On the subject of the tires, each Cup team has four sets of Goodyear wet-weather tires in their arsenal on Sunday. Meanwhile, all Xfinity Series teams have two sets of rain tires available for their own race.

Comparing the dry compounds and the rain compounds, the latter has a distinctive tread pattern to displace water. On the other hand, the dry-weather tires are without any tread.

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Given the fickle nature of Mother Nature, conditions at the road course will be treacherous. Since this is the last race in the current playoff round, the risk factor has increased even more. Hopefully, all the drivers will not try any heroics to get an advantage over their playoff rivals.

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Dhruv George

11639 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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