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Forecast could put NASCAR Clash into unprecedented territory

There's a window to race on Sunday but it gets complicated if they can't ...

It’s extremely on-brand to NASCAR that the first race weekend of the year is under threat of ‘life threatening flooding.’

As the old idiom goes, droughts can be easily solved by scheduling a NASCAR Cup Series race weekend.

Specifically, Los Angeles only receives an annual average of 14 inches of rain and nearly half of that is expected to fall over the next seven days. That includes on Sunday when NASCAR hopes to contest the third-year Busch Clash at the Coliseum exhibition event.

With each passing day, the forecast for the weekend gets worse and worse and both Saturday and Sunday are at risk. It had looked like there could be a window for Sunday afternoon but even that is becoming less likely.

So, what happens if Sunday gets rained out?

For one, NASCAR doesn’t have to begin tearing down the temporary race track inside the historic sports venue until Monday night so it could be contested on Monday. That deadline could be extended as there are no events immediately scheduled in the days after the Clash.

However, if it continues to rain past Monday, this would be uncharted territory, as NASCAR will eventually need to prepare for a trip to Florida and Daytona 500 week.

The next question concerns NASCAR’s wet weather package. It is true that Cup Series cars can be outfitted with wet weather tires, windshield wipers and rain flaps but NASCAR is only bringing the tires with them to Los Angeles.

They will not be able to race in anything that sprays water onto a trailing car.

NASCAR: All Star Heat Race 1
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

From that standpoint, as was the case during the All-Star Open in May at North Wilkesboro Speedway, the tires are more a means to dry the track and start or resume a race more than a way to race in the middle of a deluge.

So, if it begins raining on Sunday and doesn’t let up through Monday night, NASCAR may face some challenging decisions.

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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