The NASCAR weather forecast for the Cup Series race on the Daytona Road Course Sunday will be dramatically different from a week ago. There will be no reruns of "The Making of Days of Thunder" or other NASCAR-themed shows because there is no rain predicted.
You can almost hear a sigh of relief from drivers, crews, fans, and NASCAR itself when looking at the NASCAR weather forecast. After waiting nearly six hours to finish the Daytona 500, this week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 will be clean and green when it starts at 3 p.m. EST (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) as the NASCAR weather forcecast looks good all day.
NASCAR weather forecast for Daytona Road Course
Those lucky enough to see the race live will have warmer NASCAR weather conditions than Saturday's Xfinity Series contest. There will be no wind chill factor; in fact, the temperatures could reach into the 70s, although there will be upwards of 15 mph winds. With only a 15 percent chance of precipitation in the NASCAR weather forecast, fans can expect the race to finish in less time than just the NASCAR weather delay a week ago.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 will have 40 starters led by 2020 series champion Chase Elliott on the pole and Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell alongside on the front row. There are two Rookie of the Year candidates in the field, Chase Briscoe and Anthony Alfredo. Ross Chastain expected to be a third driver vying for that honor, but NASCAR disqualified him because he had 79 starts despite spreading them from 2017 to 2020.
Four drivers are ineligible for NASCAR Cup Series points. Justin Haley (No. 77 Camaro, starting P20), Garrett Smithley (No. 53 Mustang, P25), A.J. Allmendinger (No. 16 Camaro, P34), and Timmy Hill (No. 66 Mustang, P40).
Allmendinger is the only driver in that foursome to have won a Cup Series race on a road course (2014 at Watkins Glen). Four of his five Xfinity Series victories have also been on road courses (Road America and Mid-Ohio in 2013, and twice on the Charlott Roval – 2019 and 2020). However, he isn’t the only one who can win on those tracks. Chase Elliott won four in a row, five overall, before having that streak snapped with a second in the Busch Clash. If Allmendinger knocks off Elliott, he will have to do it from the back of the field.
The NASCAR weather forecast also brought sunshine to Daytona for the Xfinity Series race on Saturday after rain marred the NASCAR Truck Series race on Saturday night.