NASCAR race weather: How long will rain in Darlington forecast delay Thursday's Xfinity Series race?Sporting News — firstname.lastname@example.org (Sporting News)
NASCAR fans finally got a taste of racing action for the first time in more than two months Sunday, when Kevin Harvick won the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway. But the following NASCAR race set to take place in Darlington, S.C., an Xfinity Series event, did not go uninterrupted.
The Xfinity race at Darlington, which originally was set to start Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET and was moved up two hours in an attempt to avoid potential bad weather, ended up getting postponed to Thursday due to rain. The new time for Thursday's race was set for noon ET, but rain and lightning in the area again delayed the start of the race.
NASCAR weather forecast for Xfinity Series race at Darlington
According to weather.com, the hourly forecast for Darlington, S.C. on Thursday calls for scattered thunderstorms throughout the afternoon. There was 25 percent chance of precipitation at noon, when the Xfinity race was scheduled to start.
Rain and lightning indeed delayed the start of the race, and the chance for bad weather in the area only increases throughout the afternoon, peaking at a 70 percent chance of precipitation at 5 p.m. local time.
However, NASCAR found a window, began drying the track and set a new green flag time of 4:30 p.m. ET.
Here is the current weather radar for Darlington, S.C.
Thursday's Xfinity race at Darlington is scheduled for 147 laps, with Stage 1 ending on Lap 45 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 90. It needs to reach the halfway point in order to be considered official. FS1 will broadcast the race Thursday regardless of when it starts.
It's unclear whether NASCAR would be able to run the Xfinity race at Darlington on Friday in the event weather makes a Thursday race impossible.
Because this is the first NASCAR Xfinity Series race since the coronavirus pandemic shut down live sports in March, and because there were no practice sessions prior to the green flag, there will be a modified competition caution on Lap 15 following the same procedures used for Sunday's Cup Series race.
Contributing: Tadd Haislop