NASCAR race weather: Will rain in forecast delay the Pocono race?

The chances the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway will be put under a rain delay at some point Sunday, as a product of the storm systems moving through the Long Pond, Pa., area Sunday afternoon, depend on the source of the forecast. At the very least, rain will be a threat for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono.

The weather threatening Sunday’s race at Pocono, though, could be more than just rain. Strong, dangerous storms were forecasted for the area, scattered throughout the afternoon and into the evening hours.

The start time for Sunday’s race was scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, which happens to be the time isolated thunderstorms were forecasted to impact Pocono, according to weather.com. There was only a 35 percent chance of precipitation at 2 p.m. ET. However, that chance jumped to 75 percent at 3 p.m. ET, with thunderstorms being forecasted in the Pocono area until roughly 9 p.m. ET.

According to AccuWeather, the forecasted storms “could move into the area right around or shortly after the race’s scheduled start time of 2 p.m. ET. Any storm that wanders over the track will not only bring lightning dangers and a delay to the race, but also torrential downpours and the threat of damaging winds.”

Pocono Raceway does not have lights.

Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass suggested Sunday the race would need to start by 5 p.m. ET in order for it to be completed before dark. The track takes roughly two hours to dry.

Pocono weather radar:

Brian Neudorff, who provides weather forecasts for all NASCAR races, put the odds of racing on Sunday at 70 percent.

“For a complete distance the odds are maybe closer to 50 percent,” Neudorff wrote. “As for an official race (past stage 2) then we are about 65 to 70 percent. As for a wash and into Monday I think the odds right now are around 30 percent.”

Should the NASCAR race at Pocono be postponed to Monday, the forecast is great; a zero percent chance of precipitation all day with sunny-to-partly cloudy skies.

William Byron will start on pole for the third time this season in Sunday’s race at Pocono. Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer qualified second and third, respectively. The full starting lineup can be found here.

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