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NASCAR TO RESUME RACING IN MAY AT DARLINGTON, CHARLOTTE
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Photo Courtesy Sean Gardner Getty Images/NASCAR --
NASCAR will resume on-track racing action with a flurry of races that encompass its top three national touring series, using both Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway as their "home base" for a span of 11 races in seven days beginning on Sunday, May 17th with a Cup Series race at the "track too tough to tame".
The entire span of races will be run without fans, a first for the sport that may continue for at least a major part of the 2020 season depending on the progress that is made with the Covid19 Virus that has kept much of the US on lockdown for the past several weeks. The opening race will be a 400-mile event and will be televised on Fox and broadcast on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR beginning at 3:30 Eastern time.
The remainder of the schedule that was announced today is as follows:
Sunday, May 17 Cup Series Darlington Raceway 400 miles FOX 3:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, May 19 Xfinity Series Darlington Raceway 200 miles FS1 8 p.m. ET
Wednesday, May 20 Cup Series Darlington Raceway 500 kilometers FS1 7:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 24 Cup Series Charlotte Motor Speedway 600 miles FOX 6 p.m. ET
Monday, May 25 Xfinity Series Charlotte Motor Speedway 300 miles FS1 7:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, May 26 Gander Trucks Charlotte Motor Speedway 200 miles FS1 8 p.m. ET
Wednesday, May 27 Cup Series Charlotte Motor Speedway 500 kilometers FS1 8 p.m. ET
NASCAR did not announce any dates going past the end of May, and it should be noted that the races scheduled for Darlington and Charlotte later in this season are still on the schedule. These races are expected to replace other events previously scheduled, which NASCAR will announce at a later date. The sanctioning body still intends on running 36 Cup Series race and holding playoffs as scheduled in 2020, but the situation remains fluid.
“NASCAR and its teams are eager and excited to return to racing, and have great respect for the responsibility that comes with a return to competition,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community. We thank local, state and federal officials and medical experts, as well as everyone in the industry, for the unprecedented support in our return to racing, and we look forward to joining our passionate fans in watching cars return to the track.”
NASCAR officials have collaborated with public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the health and safety of competitors and surrounding communities at the above events. All races will be strictly tailored, in every way, to follow specific guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Event procedures will be significantly modified in accordance with CDC, OSHA and state and local government recommendations — including hosting one-day shows at the above tracks, which are all within driving distance of North Carolina race shops to minimize travel and time spent in a community.
There will be no practice sessions for any event, and qualifying will only be held for the Coca-Cola 600.
Other adjustments include mandating the use of protective equipment, health screenings for all individuals before entering the facility and maintaining social distancing protocols throughout the event.
Further announcements will be forthcoming.
CREDIT: NASCAR PR contributed to this article