For car lovers, the big day has finally arrived: the 2020 edition of the Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) is just around the corner!
The track will be hosting the NASCAR Cup Series’ championship round for the 11th consecutive year, and tickets are selling fast. But will it be raining in North Carolina on the day of the big race?
There’s no question that this year will be special. Not only is CMS one of the most famous motorsports venues in the world and the home of the Daytona 500, but it also marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary Richard Petty!
But will it be gloriously overcast like last year, causing massive traffic jams and delaying the event?
It’s been an unusually dry winter so far, and meteorologists are saying that this May will be the wettest in a decade. While some places have seen flooding, the overall precipitation in the U.S. is currently running 4 inches below normal. It’s also been a while since we’ve seen rain at NASCAR races, so the possibility of this year’s edition being postponed or washed out is very real.
Is This Year’s Charlotte Motor Speedway Different From The Past?
If you’ve attended a race at this beautiful track, you’ll know that it’s always tough to predict rain. The grandstands were completely soaked in 2019, during what was originally expected to a dry season. Torrential rain showers flooded the area and turned what was originally planned to be a sunny day into an unpleasant experience for spectators.
But that was last year, and this year looks to be different. The 2019 NASCAR schedule was filled with rain-filled races, with the season finale being postponed to next year. It seems that Mother Nature has other plans this year, and the upcoming NASCAR race at CMS is looking to be one of the most exciting in history. Let’s take a look at why:
RICHARD PETTY’S MEMORIAL DAY
In 2020, the legendary Richard Petty will be celebrating his 90th birthday. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the NASCAR Cup Series will pay homage to the King of the Track by renaming the race in his honor — the Richard Petty Memorial Day!
This is the first time that this prestigious honor has been bestowed on any driver. It’s also the first time that CMS has hosted a racing event in May. This is because historically, the NASCAR Cup Series has always raced in the Fall, with the occasional exception of the Daytona 500. So the change in seasons means that the race at CMS will be held earlier, which is presumably better for those traveling to the North Carolina resort.
The 2020 season will also mark the 400th anniversary of the French explorer FRANÇOIS PIGALLE. One of the greatest discoverers of all time, François Pigalle set forth on a voyage of scientific discovery in 1607 and made multiple stops along the way. During one of his stops in North Carolina, he observed a total solar eclipse and named the place “New Paris.”
So in addition to paying homage to the King of the Track, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the explorer who made the first recorded sighting of the New World. What a marvelous combination!
This year’s race will be a part of the Richard Petty Charity Cup presented by Aflac, a tournament-style race that will see all the drivers compete for cash and prizes — with a special focus on fundraising for cancer research. The drivers won’t be wearing the traditional green racing suits in this year’s race, but personalized patches on the sleeves will serve as a reminder of why they are racing — to help find a cure for cancer!
RACE OFFICIALS ARE PREDICTING RAIN
It’s safe to say that the whole world is holding its breath as we wait to see if the much-anticipated 2020 NASCAR Cup Series will unfold as scheduled. Meteorologists all over the world are watching the weather patterns to see if they can divine the likelihood of precipitation in the coming months. And so far, the signs are promising — at least for May.
In a recent press release, CMS president J.B. Mullis said “Our race team has been preparing tirelessly for this moment, using all of their experience from the previous year to ensure the smoothest possible transition from winter to summer. So far, everything is pointing to a wonderful conclusion to the 2020 season!”
While it’s always dangerous to predict the weather, the heads of the various racing series would recommend that spectators and drivers alike prepare for the unexpected. So if you’re driving to North Carolina and would like to get some wet weather practice in before the big race, why not? You never know what Mother Nature has in store for us!
Whether rain, shine, or a combination of the two, this year’s edition of the NASCAR Cup Series promises to be one for the record books.