Racing all about the weather - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Racing all about the weather

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"I can't even tell you how big an impact weather has on our sport."

Heat, cold and rain.  They're enough to ruin your day as a fan, but imagine dealing with that at 180 miles per hour.  

"We just allow nature to take its course," Ron Dragers said.


Bad weather doesn't just mess up a track or stock car.  ARCA President Ron Dragers says if rain's in the forecast, fewer fans show up.

"We have become huge watchers of weather.  And all of us in the business, we bring it up on our laptops, and it's the first thing you look at in the morning," Dragers said.

ARCA and NASCAR are both are family-run by the third generation.   

"When we felt like we were all kids, we always used to have a winter like that... But from a racetrack perspective, you're real concerned about cracks in the pavement and moisture getting underneath there and then the freezing, which can raise the track up."

It's nearly impossible to race on a soggy track.  Not only do the slick tires lack tread, but centrifugal force works to pull racers into the outer wall.

"Any little tiny bit of moisture on the track sends the car sliding and you'll have accidents," Dragers said.

NASCAR has its own methods to dry out a wet track, but at Toledo Speedway, ARCA brings in local wreckers to drag big earth-moving tires behind them.  The friction and heat it creates helps to dry out the track.

"As the track heats up, the car gets more loose and it gets greasier and more slippery, so you want to tighten the car up."

In short races at Toledo Speedway, those fixes come before the green flag.  Things are different in grueling races, where weather changes over hours.  

"In longer races, like in Michigan, as the race unfolds, you'll make pits stops, and you can make adjustment, so that you can keep up with those changing conditions."  

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