Rain threatens NASCAR, other weekend Valley events

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Matthew Seeman By Matthew Seeman

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Rain threatens to put a damper on several events this weekend, including an appearance by NASCAR at the Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale.

The Profit on CNBC 500 kicks off Thursday, but with forecasts predicting up to an inch of rain, fans and organizers will have to prepare for wet weather.

PIR wants to avoid any problems, especially after the Daytona 500 was delayed nearly seven hours on Sunday because of rain.

Phoenix weather: First rain since December moving into Valley

Zac Emmons, director of communications for PIR, said the raceway has a plan in place so it can tell fans what to do, including using social media and broadcast partners.

Fans are coming with all of the tools they need to stay dry. Diane Ash brought a waterproof jacket and three umbrellas with her as she camps out for the NASCAR racing this weekend.

“We’re prepared for the cold and the heat … and the wet,” Ash said.

Members of the Ash family, NASCAR camping veterans, are as organized as a pit crew. They’ve already bought almost everything they could need to survive the rain.

“We’ve been here many times when it rained,” Chad Ash said. “It has blown awnings away. It has taken tents down the road.”

The family will try to keep the mud off of their shoes and their motor home, he said, and maybe add a few more mats so they can stay clear of the mud. But even with plans in place, the weather still takes some of the fun out of NASCAR weekend.

“I know we need the rain, but this is not the right weekend,” Diane Ash said.

Other events in the Valley that could be impacted this weekend include the Great Arizona Beer Festival, the Renaissance Festival, the Phoenix Marathon, and the Gilbert Art Walk.