NASCAR is set for seven races at two tracks in the month of May alone; Where are they going next? Three tracks will be cut from the schedule
NASCAR released their return to racing schedule last week. Seven races are set to take place in only 11-days.
The first race will be run on May 17th, 2020. The series resumes with the NASCAR Cup Series in Darlington, South Carolina. It’s a single day show with no practice or qualifying sessions.
Fans will not be allowed. One class will race on any given day in the pending races in a competitor only event. Teams are limited to just 16 personnel at each race.
All of the upcoming races are to be held at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. But, there was a lot of moving pieces in play and it could have gone a lot of directions.
Steve O’Donnell on the NASCAR schedule
“I think we’re on version 65 of the schedule for the national series,” said Steve O’Donnell.
“For all three series, we feel we have a schedule mapped out that gets us through Phoenix. Certainly, we have backups, to backups, to backups.”
“We started with about 7 pencils and a lot of erasers. We’ve moved to pen now. We have a schedule, I feel like we can pull off.”
“Our intent remains to run the same number of events that we announced at the beginning of the season. That’s for all three national series. “
The NASCAR Cup Series had 39 races on the schedule. That includes the All-Star race, Clash and Daytona Duels.
“The NASCAR fan is passionate. We want to conduct events, with fans. But, until we believe that it’s a safe environment we’re going to wait.”
NASCAR: First sporting sanction to return
Other than horse racing and UFC, NASCAR will be the first major sport back in action. Many other sports are now watching what we do and are set to follow the lead.
“We realize up front, that it’s a huge responsibility for us as a sport. But, I’m also confident in the group we’ve gathered to put this plan together. The plan we put in place give our industry the confidence, that we can be first,” O’Donnell stated.
“When you look at other sports — We’re an outdoor sport, we do have drivers with helmets, we are in race cars. There are some unique things about our sport that provided us the opportunity to get back if we could.”
“If we didn’t feel like we had the support of the local communities, health officials or the state then you wouldn’t see us racing until November.”
The four cup races in May are all scheduled within driving distance of the shops. That removes the need for hotels.
“Outside of the next four NASCAR Cup Series event, we would like the next three Cup events to be within driveable conditions. Once you get beyond that, we do have states that have said we’re good to go. But for the next seven events, we’re going to try and not put people on planes, if we can avoid that.”
What tracks is NASCAR going to after May?
There are other tracks within driving distance. At the same time, Florida has been actively lifting restrictions.
“Daytona and also Miami were discussed and are still being discussed. The Governor has been very supportive of NASCAR. It’s certainly drivable, but a decent drive,” O’Donnell confirmed.
“For those first couple races, we wanted to get people in and out. And have people home. We know that’s an area where we can race.”
Atlanta is another track that’s being discussed for the near future.
Tracks will be cut from the 2020 NASCAR schedule
NASCAR is running many races at the same two tracks in the month of May. That means some tracks will be canceled in 2020. Which ones?
“Those decisions have been made. But, we’re not ready to announce those. The race fans will know before we get to Darlington.”
It has been leaked that three races will be getting the axe from the sanction. Those will be released before Darlington.
“As of now, we expect the playoff races to stay intact. That could change is some things happen.”
The northern part of the country has seen a much bigger outbreak. NASCAR did look at replacing some events with track that we’re previously on the schedule.
“Our first priority was to look at tracks that are on the schedule. We did look at that. At this point, we’re going to remain at the tracks that are a part of the three national series.”
Pocono was scheduled to host the first double-header later this year. Now, we may see more as the intent remains to run a full schedule with the same number of races.
“As we get deeper into the schedule, you may see one, if not two or three more, additional double-headers. Especially on the cup side,” O’Donnell concluded.