What’s Happening?

If there is anything that can dampen a race weekend, it’s weather. A poorly timed rainstorm can often derail a race weekend by either dampening, delaying, or postponing a race. Well, we compiled every returning track on the 2024 NASCAR schedule to see which races have been the most hampered by weather since 2014.

***We will also be updating this as the 2024 season continues.

  • As we look at every Cup Series season since 2014, any race considered to be “Weather Impacted” will be any race with a weather-related delay or postponement. From there, we will break down different factors such as the time of year the races were held, to what type of delay it was. Weather delays are for weather delays either before or in the middle of a race the day it was run, weather postponements are for races moved to the next day, and weather-shortened races are for races that don’t reach the full distance. Some races do have more than one or all of these things.
  • For this list, we will only look at current tracks, so, tracks such as Kentucky or Road America that are no longer on the schedule will not apply. Exceptions will be made for tracks either with multiple layouts or in the same market. Therefore, the Daytona Road Course and Chicagoland Speedway will be included. Since Iowa is hosting its’ inaugural race in 2024, it will not be included on this list. We will also only look at Cup Series races, NOT race weekends.
  • Fans are always curious to see how much weather affects racing. This is some hard data for races that were affected, how they were affected, and what factors may have been at play.

Atlanta Motor Speedway (14 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 3/14 (21%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 2/14 (14%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/14(0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 1/14 (7%)

Atlanta Motor Speedway has not had a race postponed due to weather since September of 2011, and, it has generally gotten pretty lucky with weather. However, the spring race had two rain delays in four seasons in 2015 and 2018 when it was the second race of the season. The 2023 summer race was rain-shortened, which was Atlanta’s first since 2002.

Bristol Motor Speedway/Bristol Dirt (20 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 7/21 (33%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 5/21 (24%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 4/21 (19%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/21 (0%)

Bristol has had some bad luck with the weather, particularly during the spring race. Of the 7 Bristol races impacted by weather, 5 of them were during the spring including 3 of the 4 postponements. Even moving the spring date to dirt did not help matters as the 2021 race was postponed to Monday. Regardless, bad weather often impacts Bristol.

Charlotte Motor Speedway/Charlotte ROVAL (21 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 5/21 (24%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 2/21 (10%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 4/21 (19%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/21 (0%)

Charlotte Motor Speedway’s weather issues seem to have migrated from the fall to the spring in recent years. The 2015 and 2016 fall races at Charlotte were postponed by rain, but, the Roval has never had a rain delay or postponement. The Coca-Cola 600 was weather issue-free throughout the 2010s, but, the 2020 and 2023 Coca-Cola 600s had weather delays with the 2023 race being the first in 14 years postponed to Monday. A midweek race during the pandemic year of 2020 also was postponed by weather.

Chicago Street Race/Chicagoland Speedway (7 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 2/7 (29%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 2/7 (29%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/7 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 1/7 (14%)

Weather has not been kind to NASCAR fans in the Chicago area in recent years. While Chicagoland Speedway was on a good streak between 2014 and 2018, the 2019 race featured a weather delay in the early stages. The Chicago Street Race overcame a weather delay and was shortened by 22 laps to be one of the most memorable races of the season. Hopefully, 2024 will be kinder to the “Windy City”.

Circuit of the Americas (4 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 1/4 (25%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 0/4 (0%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/4 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 1/4 (25%)

Circuit of the Americas drew a bad hand with its’ first race in 2021. It was hampered by a downpour which caused the race to become a sloppy mess, and it was shortened as well. Since then, the track has gotten lucky with the weather, so hopefully that continues.

Darlington Raceway (15 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 2/15 (13%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/15 (7%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 1/15 (7%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/15 (0%)

Darlingont has generally been very lucky with the weather. The 2019 Southern 500 was the only weather-delayed race, and a midweek race during the pandemic year of 2020 was the only rain-shortened event. Darlington’s last rain-shortened race came in 2000.

Daytona International Speedway/Daytona Road Course (22 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 8/23 (35%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 5/23 (22%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 5/23 (22%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 2/23 (9%)

2023 was the first year since 2018 that Daytona ran both of its’ races the full distance on the scheduled date. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it is the summer race or the Daytona 500 in February, weather seems to pop up there quite often. While technically not included on this list, the race at the Daytona Road Course in February of 2021 even had a questionable caution thrown for a rain shower that cost Chase Elliott a win. While it may not have impacted that much more often than other tracks, Daytona has had some of the most prominent weather delays in the sport.

Dover Motor Speedway (17 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 3/17 (18%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/17 (6%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 3/17 (18%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/17 (0%)

Dover was on a good streak until the 2019 season. Since then, three of the last five seasons have seen Dover’s race postponed to the next day. It’s especially discouraging considering the track is down to one race per year. The track currently has a two-year streak of their races getting postponed.

Homestead-Miami Speedway (10 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 1/10 (10%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/10 (10%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/10 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/10 (0%)

Homestead-Miami Speedway has never had a race postponed or shortened due to weather. Over the last 10 seasons, Homestead-Miami Speedway’s only weather-impacted event was a race in the summer of 2020 due to the pandemic.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway/Indianapolis Road Course (10 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 3/10 (30%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 2/10 (20%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 1/10 (10%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/10 (0%)

NASCAR’s summer race at Indianapolis had weather delays during the 2017 and 2020 races along with the 2018 race being postponed to Monday. Since it moved to the road course, there have been no issues with the weather.

Kansas Speedway (20 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 2/20 (10%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 2/20 (10%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/20 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/20 (0%)

Kansas Speedway has never had a race postponed by rain in its history, and it has not had a weather-impacted Cup Series race since 2015. The most famous weather incident at Kansas came in 2015 when thunderstorms caused the race to end after 210 laps due to darkness.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway (16 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 1/17 (6%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/17 (6%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/17 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/17 (0%)

Being in the desert, Las Vegas Motor Speedway steers clear of most weather incidents. However, in 2016, a rain shower delayed the race for 25 minutes, and 40 mph winds caused a sandstorm to come through in the middle of the race. About the most Las Vegas weather event one could have.

LA Coliseum (2 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 0/2 (0%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 0/2 (0%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/2 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/2 (0%)

The LA Coliseum has only been on the schedule for two years. NASCAR has gotten lucky with the weather in both years, and that’s a product of the dry LA climate. As long as NASCAR stays there, weather should hopefully be a minimal factor.

Martinsville Speedway (21 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 3/21 (14%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/21 (5%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 2/21 (10%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/21 (0%)

Despite hosting a race in the wet, spring season, Martinsville Speedway has been generally pretty lucky with the weather. However, when bad weather strikes, it usually strikes with cold rain or even snow in 2018. 2018-2022 was the roughest time for Martinsville, as three spring races in 5 years experienced weather issues.

Michigan International Speedway (17 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 4/17 (23%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/17 (6%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 2/17 (12%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 2/17 (12%)

Michigan has had some weather issues here and there. The June races in 2015 and 2018 were both shortened due to weather, and the June 2019 race along with the 2023 race was postponed due to weather.

Nashville Superspeedway (3 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 1/3 (33%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/3 (33%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/3 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/3 (0%)

Nashville Superspeedway had one weather-delayed race in 2022, which moved the daytime scheduled race into the night. The 2023 race was somewhat weather-impacted as NASCAR moved the start time up due to potential rain later on that night.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway (14 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 3/14 (21%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 2/14 (14%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 1/14 (7%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 1/14 (7%)

New Hampshire Motor Speedway was on a good streak with weather for a few years, but, since 2018, 3 races have been impacted by weather. The 2018 race was delayed and the 2023 race was postponed to Monday. The 2021 race was perhaps the most notorious as NASCAR started the race in a mist, which caused an accident early in the race that was eventually shortened due to the ensuing rain delay.

North Wilkesboro Speedway (1 Race)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 0/1 (0%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 0/1 (0%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/1 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/1 (0%)

North Wilkesboro Speedway did not have the All-Star Race impacted by weather in 2023, but, the heat races were. The heat races saw the NASCAR Cup Series use rain tires on an oval for the first time in history.

Phoenix Raceway (20 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 1/21 (5%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/21 (5%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/21 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 1/21 (5%)

There is a reason why NASCAR holds the Championship race at Phoenix. Weather rarely impacts races at Phoenix due to the arid desert climate. The only race to be impacted by weather was the 2015 fall race which was delayed by rain and eventually shortened. It was Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final career win.

Pocono Raceway (18 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 4/18 (22%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 2/18 (11%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 2/18 (11%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 1/18 (6%)

Pocono Raceway is notorious for weather delays, but, in recent years, it’s not as common for Pocono races to be hampered by weather. It’s less common than at places like Daytona and Bristol. However, Pocono takes the cake for the strangest weather-shortened race. In 2016, Chris Buescher won his first career race at Pocono after the race was shortened due to fog.

Richmond Raceway (19 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 2/20 (10%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/20 (5%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 1/20 (5%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/20 (0%)

Despite Richmond having a race in the spring, when rain is often an issue, only one race over the past 10 seasons has been impacted by rain. This came in 2015 when the spring race was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. This began the slow trend for Richmond to switch from Saturday night races to Sunday afternoon. Both races in 2023 were on Sunday afternoon, but, the night race returns in 2024 on Easter Sunday, March 31st.

Sonoma Raceway (9 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 0/9 (0%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 0/9 (0%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/9 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/9 (0%)

Being in Northern California with a race towards the end of June, races at Sonoma Raceway are usually contested under sunny skies with barely a drop of rain. The last time any rain came on race day at Sonoma was in 2013, and that wasn’t enough to stop the race. The only thing that could postpone a Sonoma race was the pandemic in 2020.

Talladega Superspeedway (20 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 3/20 (15%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/20 (5%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 3/20 (15%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 1/20 (5%)

Talladega has generally avoided weather issues despite a springtime date. The fall race has actually been more hampered by weather with two of the three weather-impacted races being in the fall. This included a rain-shortened race in 2021, which was Bubba Wallace’s first career win.

Texas Motor Speedway (17 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 4/18 (24%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 3/18 (17%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 2/18 (11%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 1/18 (6%)

Texas Motor Speedway has had its fair share of weather issues. In 2016, an aging track surface meant the track took until nighttime to dry after a rain storm, which predicated the repave. In 2020, a persistent mist meant the race was stopped partway through and delayed until Wednesday evening.

Watkins Glen International (9 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 1/9 (11%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/9 (11%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/9 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/9 (0%)

Watkins Glen International has a date in the middle of August, which is the dryest month of the year for many locations across the country. This means that Watkins Glen does not have much weather impairment, but, it did have one memorable moment in 2022. Rain delayed the start of the race, and the Cup Series cars were fitted with rain tires for the first time since the Next-Gen car was introduced.

World Wide Technology Raceway (2 Races)

  • Weather-Impacted Races: 1/2 (50%)
  • Weather-Delayed Races: 1/2 (50%)
  • Weather-Postponed Races: 0/2 (0%)
  • Weather-Shortened Races: 0/2 (0%)

World Wide Technology Raceway has only been on the schedule for 2 seasons, and it has felt the full wrath of Mother Nature on NASCAR races. The 2023 race was delayed by lightning, and an electric issue later during the race caused the broadcast to go dark. Hopefully, the track will have better luck in 2024.

Breakdown

With all of this information gathered, here are some of the tracks that have been the most and least impacted by weather. We will break it down by both percentages and total races impacted. Tracks cannot be included on one most impacted list and one least impacted list, but they can be included on both most impacted lists or both least impacted lists.

Tracks Most Impacted (30% or More)

  • World Wide Technology Raceway: 1/2 (50%)
  • Daytona 8/23 (35%)
  • Bristol: 7/21 (33%)
  • Nashville: 1/3 (33%)
  • Indianapolis: 3/10 (30%)

Tracks Least Impacted (10% or Less)

  • Sonoma Raceway: 0/9 (0%)
  • LA Coliseum: 0/2 (0%)
  • North Wilkesboro: 0/1 (0%)
  • Richmond Raceway: 1/19 (5%)
  • Phoenix Raceway: 1/21 (5%)
  • Las Vegas: 1/17 (6%)
  • Homestead: 1/10 (10%)
  • Kansas: 2/20 (10%)

Tracks Most Impacted (4 or More Races)

  • Daytona 8/23 (35%)
  • Bristol: 7/21 (33%)
  • Charlotte: 5/21 (24%)
  • Michigan: 4/17 (24%)
  • Pocono: 4/18 (22%)
  • Texas: 4/18 (22%)

Tracks Least Impacted (2 or Fewer Races)

  • Sonoma Raceway: 0/9 (0%)
  • LA Coliseum: 0/2 (0%)
  • North Wilkesboro: 0/1 (0%)
  • Richmond Raceway: 1/19 (5%)
  • Phoenix Raceway: 1/21 (5%)
  • Las Vegas: 1/17 (6%)
  • Homestead: 1/10 (10%)
  • Watkins Glen: 1/9 (11%)
  • Kansas: 2/20 (10%)
  • Darlington 2/15 (13%)
  • Chicago: 2/7 (29%)

Interesting Notes

There are a few surprises that some fans may not have expected from this data. For example, while generally speaking, the races during the late spring and throughout the summer do not have many issues with weather, Indianapolis has had 30% of its races impacted by weather.

Another surprise was Pocono Raceway. Pocono is known for being heavily impacted by weather, but, it was actually impacted by weather about as often as tracks like Michigan and Texas, which fans do not always associate with weather issues.

As expected, the tracks in arid climates such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Sonoma had little to no issue with rain. Tracks with races in the springtime, when rain is common, such as Bristol had some issues with weather.

The two most impacted tracks with weather were Bristol and Daytona, with 7 races each. This is not surprising as Bristol’s spring race has been hounded by weather issues, and Daytona is in Florida, which is notorious for pop-up rain showers.

This gives us and NASCAR fans some idea of how much weather impacts races at specific tracks.