NASCAR tentatively plans to return in May
NASCAR updates situation on postponements; Possibly resuming very soon
On Thursday, President Trump announced a new plan for restarting the country. A big part of Opening America Again includes sports.
States that see 14 days in a decrease in new case are expected to jump into Phase 1 of the three phases. Phase 1 allows large venues to open.
In this case, that includes NASCAR tracks. It would see the events run without fans in the stands, TV only.
As stated multiple times, NASCAR is likely to be one of the first sports to return to action. The lack of athlete contact allows an early return. It’s speculated that NASCAR is going to frequently test their community ahead of the race weekends.
Martinsville Speedway was set to restart the season on May 8-9. However, the state of Virginia has extended their stay-at-home order. As expected, NASCAR postponed that event, as of today.
In recent weeks, tracks have cut staff. The sanction itself has cut pay as employees work from home.
Stay at home order: Conflict?
Most NASCAR teams are currently completely shut down. North Carolina’s stay at home order has forced non-essential business to shut down. The state’s order will either expire or be extended on April 29.
Mecklenburg County which includes the Charlotte, NC area has their stay at home order inline with the state, set to expire April 29th.
Yet, Mecklenburg County expects their peak of COVID-19 cases to come in late May or early June. As a result, they are speaking on possibly extending the order in the county, which may or may not be different than the state itself.
“You have to really be balanced and measured in how you make those decisions. The last thing we want to see is a spike and us having to put it back in place,” Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said.
Mecklenburg County includes most race teams. However, the state of North Carolina could declare NASCAR teams an essential business, similar to what Florida did with various sports businesses. That would allow them to work through the stay at home order.
As of now, NASCAR has not announced a confirmed date or location for restarting the 2020 racing season. However, they have announced possible plans to do so, in May and without fans.
NASCAR statement on Martinsville
The following statement was issued by NASCAR on Friday afternoon:
“NASCAR is postponing the scheduled events on May 8-9 at Martinsville Speedway. Our intention remains to run all 36 races, with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined,” NASCAR said in a statement.
They continued, “The health and safety of our competitors, employees, fans, and the communities in which we run continues to be our top priority. We will continue to consult with health experts and local, state and federal officials as we assess future scheduling options.”
This weekend, the eNASCAR racing series will head to Richmond Raceway.
As the sanction awaits postponements, drivers have taken to the online racing platform. Digital races are being held on virtual tracks.
26 drivers are confirmed for Sunday’s race. It will be shown LIVE on network television.
Weekly, millions of race fans have been tuning it, as they eagerly await the return of the real thing.
Filed Under: NASCAR Cup Series Tagged With: Charlotte NC Charlotte North Carolina Coronavirus Covid-19 Cup Series Martinsville Martinsville Speedway Mecklenburg Mecklenburg County NASCAR NASCAR Cup NASCAR Cup Series NASCAR Xfinity Series NCS North Carolina NXS