After several months of postponements, the sport returns – But, it’s going to look a little different
Today, NASCAR is set to return. Darlington Raceway hosts the NASCAR Cup Series in South Carolina.
The green flag is set to drop in the first NASCAR event since March. It marks the return of major sports.
But, things will look different today.
Officials will be health screening everyone who enters the track. Those include temperature checks.
Beyond that, NASCAR will use the entire infield to space out the teams. Only 16 people are allowed with each entry.
Masks and gloves are required by everyone who’s allowed entry. Additionally, everyone is required to keep a logbook, tracking everyone they come in contact with throughout the event. In the event of a positive test in the future, the series can then circle back and force everyone in the logbook to quarantine.
No fans will sit in the stands. This is a TV only event, as is every event through June 21st.
John Bobo on NASCAR selecting where to return
“We want to go into communities where we know we’ll be welcomed and we’ll be good guests,” NASCAR’s John Bobo stated.
“As we are guests in each community — As we prepare for these events, we’re going to keep a close eye on the trends (of the outbreak) as they develop. And know that our events can be contingent on those trends.”
“Events are going to look different than they have the past. They way we travel to the event, the way we enter the event, the way we move about an event and the way we leave an event.”
“We’re asking teams to self monitor people for five days, for symptoms, before they arrive. They fill out a questionnaire and go through and initial screening for temperature,” Bobo added.
“After that, they go into a secondary screening with medical personnel which includes heart rate and pulse oxygenation. We’ll go through an additional screening for internal personnel.”
“Everyone going into the infield is going to be wearing cloth masks. We’ll use the entire infield to space out and socially distance. We’ll have driver motor coaches there but they will not be in a lot, we’ll be spreading those out to give drivers a place to self-isolate during the day.”
“If we’re at a short track, we’ll stage outside of the infield.”
“We’ll have one-way walkways for people. If people aren’t complying with our rules for masks and social distancing, they will be removed from the premises.”
“On pit road, we are mandating all our over the wall crews have a sock mask or face screen that goes from above their eyes to below their chin.”
“Our spotters aren’t necessarily going to be on the roof. They’ll be spaced out across the empty stadium.”
“Temperatures will be taken randomly throughout the event. Symptomatic patients will be processed and removed from the event and get medical attention, if needed. We’re doing that, outside of the medical care center, to protect integrity of the infield care center for emergency operations during the race.”
Steve O’Donnell says NASCAR victory lane will look different
Victory lane is a time to celebrate with the team. But, in an era of social distancing, it’s not going to be the same as it was.
“A bit in the weeds but we have thought about it,” Steve O’Donnell stated.
“The idea at this point is to certainly have a celebration on or around the start/finish line. In an ideal world, we would like to have a victory lane.”
“Not sure, the logistics of how we pulls that off. But, we want to try and have a trophy and at least that celebration with the driver.”
“Jill [Gregory] and her team are working… What are some virtual things we can incorporate, that we saw on iRacing that can be part of this.”
“Especially for some of the team members who may not be able to be part of it.”