Read the letter: Speaker of NC House sent a note on NASCAR to Governor Roy Cooper
Seven NASCAR races are currently postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. None have been canceled and as soon as it’s deemed safe, NASCAR will resume and complete their schedule.
On Friday, NASCAR stated they tentatively plan to return in May. The sanction added they plan to do that without fans.
President Donald Trump has indicated that he would like sports to be a crucial part of his big plan for ‘Opening America Again’. The industry would open without fans for a tv audience only.
Will that begin in North Carolina?
A few weeks ago, Denny Hamlin stated that NASCAR tentatively plans to resume in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway. However, the state of North Carolina is currently locked down under a stay-at-home order through April 29th.
The stay at home order has shut down all non-essential businesses. That includes both NASCAR and the teams that support it.
Will that stay at home order be extended through April? Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to announce those plans in the coming days as protesters have begun to form in the state of North Carolina.
“We understand that we can’t stay at home forever and that this is not something that is sustainable long-term,” the governor said on Tuesday. “But what we have to do is to ease back into it to make sure that this virus does not spike – which it very easily could do – overwhelming our hospitals.”
As of Sunday, April 22, there has been 826,240 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States. North Carolina holds 6,951 of those, adding 187 on Tuesday.
Government officials urge NASCAR racing
Meanwhile, NASCAR is being invited by other states such as Florida to resume their sport. It’s rumored that NASCAR pick up in Darlington, South Carolina as the state lifts stay at home restrictions.
On Sunday, five Republican senators pleaded with North Carolina Governor Ray Cooper to allow the May NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Leading the charge: Senators Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus), Todd Johnson (R-Union), Vickie Sawyer (R-Iredell) and Carl Ford (R-Rowan) are leading the proposal.
“I think if NASCAR does a race and can televise it without having a large crowd, I think that’s a good thing,” DeSantis told reporters.
“It is gonna be a huge thing, not only for the morale of our area, the morale of our state, but the morale of sports fans across this country,” Johnson said.
“To really have that race would be symbolic of what racing could be like for us again,” NASCAR driver William Byron said.
Additionally, Tim Moore sent a letter to the Governor. Moore is the speaker of the North Carolina House. He urged the NASCAR race.
In other areas, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is also actively speaking with NASCAR about opening Texas Motor Speedway.
Tim Moore on NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Speaker of the NC House, Tim Moore sent a letter directly to the NC Governor on the issue:
“Our state must find appropriate measures to reopen our economy and begin a full recovery as soon as possible,” Tim Moore stated.
“Allowing NASCAR to return Memorial Day Weekend without fans would not only benefit the motorsports industry that calls our state home, it would mark a re-beginning for North Carolina’s tourism, entertainment and service industries that are desperate to open for business.”
“Other states like Florida have stepped up to invite NASCAR to return in a safe manner as soon as practicable. North Carolina should take this opportunity to show our state will take commonsense safety measures to reopen our economy and renew a sense of normalcy for millions of citizens who are hurting.
“I urge you to amend your Executive Orders to permit Charlotte Motor Speedway to host the Coca-Cola 600 and accompanying races on Memorial Day Weekend,” Moore concluded.
Office of Roy Cooper responds
“Governor Cooper knows the importance of NASCAR to our state and he’s already been talking with track and team owners about how we could potentially restart racing,” the statement from the Governor’s office read.
They added, “It’s too soon to predict specific decisions about future sporting events but any plan would prioritize public health and safety and preventing spread of the virus.”
Charlotte Motor Speedway comments
“Our desire is to run the Coca-Cola 600 with fans as originally scheduled on May 24, but we realize these are unprecedented circumstances and the parameters surrounding public gatherings remain a primary consideration,” the North Carolina race track opened.
“We look forward to working with Gov. Cooper in an effort that will allow race fans to once again enjoy action on the track as we all work through these challenging times.”
“For 60 years, this race has been a Memorial Day Weekend tradition at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and we want to do everything possible to support NASCAR, the dozens of race teams in North Carolina and the fans to get back on track. We will work with the governor, state and local government and health officials to make that happen.”