Could Hurricane Ian Cause Weather Delays for NASCAR Playoffs at Talladega?

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Talladega, fans have their eyes on Hurricane Ian and how far inland the storm may come. What started as a tropical storm is now a full-blown hurricane and Ian has gained strength. Depending on how fast the storm moves, there might be rain from Friday through Sunday in the area.

This weekend we are going to see all three NASCAR national series compete in their own playoff race. We will see action in the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series, and Cup Series. That means there is a lot that can be delayed. From practice to qualifying for each race and more – it’s hard to predict what might happen if weather moves in.

There have been weather delays in more than a handful of races this season. NASCAR has managed to get every race in and that includes having late-night action. The folks in Charlotte are probably thinking about contingency plans as we speak. In 2021, Bubba Wallace famously, or infamously depending on who you ask, won a weather-shortened YellaWood 400 at Talladega. Will we see something similar?

Hurricane Ian Threatens NASCAR Weekend

Of course, NASCAR knows how to advance without formal qualifying rounds and they have done so this season. However, this is the playoffs. That means these races have to be run. The Trucks are going to race at 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday. Then the Xfinity Series will take off at 4 p.m. – could we see a late night under the lights playoff race? Or potentially an early morning start to get ahead of the weather?

Local news out of Birmingham, Alabama is letting central Alabama residents know that tropical gusts and rain are potential on Saturday. That means we might be seeing rain and high winds. The Cup Series gets going at 2 p.m. on Sunday. I have a feeling that the air titans are going to be brought out onto the track. Maybe we will get some Monday racing?

There isn’t a clear plan as of right now. However, as the weekend gets closer, and Hurricane Ian does as well, we will know more about the NASCAR response. When we get an update, we will be sure to let you know, Outsiders. For now, we will have to wait and see how strong the storm is as it heads for Florida and then Georgia and Alabama later in the week.

Let’s hope that everyone in the storm’s path stays safe. Hurricane Ian is a serious storm and if NASCAR is delayed, that will likely be the least of people’s worries this weekend.