North Carolina enacts stay at home order; Here’s how that changes NASCAR
NASCAR, like most sporting organizations are currently in an excruciating state of postponement. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to force actions from government officials around the world.
Now, most NASCAR teams are soon to be placed on a stay at home order.
North Carolina governor Roy Cooper announced a stay at home order for the entire state. The new order was announced on Friday night.
17,000 new cases were added in the United States, yesterday. That brings the total to over 100,000 in the US alone.
783 cases of the coronavirus cases have been detected in the state of North Carolina. The COVID-19 disease has caused 3 deaths in the state.
North Carolina stay at home order
The stay at home order for the state of NC will be put in place on Monday, March 30th at 5pm. The order will remain in place for 30 days to greatly slow the spread of the virus.
Much of the NASCAR industry, teams included, are based in the state of North Carolina. this has an effect on all of those.
The new order requires everyone in the state to stay at home with minor exceptions. Essential businesses may stay open (there’s a lot of them, NASCAR isn’t one).
Other than essential businesses, all other organizations are expected to have only minimum operations conducted. On site, this is limited to things like security.
Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County in North Carolina were already on a stay at home order. Teams like Joe Gibbs Racing, Henrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing have had these orders in place since March 25.
On March 30th, most of the industry will now be temporarily shutdown.
Currently, seven NASCAR races are currently postponed. None of those have been canceled or yet rescheduled.
NASCAR is planning for a return on May 9, 2020 at Martinsville Speedway. Though, more postponements are certainly possible.
Rumors in the industry are circulating that the sanction intends to test everyone in the industry for the Coronavirus before returning to the next event. The stay at home order could possibly have an impact on that test alone. Though, this entire paragraph has yet to be confirmed (I’m just passing the whispers to you).
When they do drop the green, it’s likely they’ll do it without fans in the stands, out of public safety. NASCAR president Steve Phelps cited that would be a likely possibility in a conference call last week.
As for rescheduling events, NASCAR has previously discussed some of the options. Double-header race weekends, mid-week races, removing off-weekends and just about everything is on the table as the sport still intends to complete the full schedule.
In the meantime, NASCAR drivers have turned to iRacing. 35+ competitors are engaged in a weekly online racing series that’s shown LIVE on tv each week.
Related: NASCAR postpones more races
2021 Next Gen car
Another thing that this is likely to change is the progress of the Next Gen car. Now, the car can’t even be worked on at the shop, let alone at the race track.
The 2021 car is set to be a game changer for the sport. It’s highly anticipated by just about everyone in the industry.
However, before the virus even began to change the world, NASCAR was crunching to get the car completed. The timeline saw the car hitting the track in 2021.
It’s a spec chassis, meaning every team is set to run the same chassis. Lots of aerodynamic elements have been adjusted and the suspension has been highly improved.
But, teams need the 2021 car well in advance of the 2021 season. They’ll need to the cars to prep their fleet, get engineers and everyone on the team familiar with the cars.
The tentative timeline was expected for teams to take delivery of the car in June-July. However, before the car is delivered, it needs to be completed.
NASCAR had a test scheduled for this month. It was suppose to take place after the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. That obviously didn’t happen as the weekend was postponed.
F1 has already pushed their 2021 rules (new car) back to 2022 due to similar situations. Could we now be looking at a 2022 NASCAR Next Gen car instead of 2021?