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Darlington to host first 3 NASCAR races in May without spectators

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Friday, May 1, 2020

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2019 NASCAR Series champion Kyle Busch and drivers resume racing May 17 at Darlington.
 
 
 
 

Toyota USA Photo

2019 NASCAR Series champion Kyle Busch and drivers resume racing May 17 at Darlington.

 

 

 

 

NASCAR is scheduled to resume racing on Sunday, May 17, at Darlington Raceway with a Cup Series race. Darlington is the first race in more than two months as the sport paused for more than two months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

No spectators will attend any of the May races.

Seven races are scheduled over an 11-day span with Charlotte Motor Speedway hosting four races with the traditional Memorial Day weekend Coca-Cola 600 on May 24.

There will be no practice sessions for any event, and qualifying will only be held for the Coca-Cola 600.

May race scheduled

Darlington races

• Sunday, May 17, Cup Series, 400 miles, 3:30 p.m. (FOX)

• Tuesday, May 19, Xfinity Series, 200 miles, 8 p.m. (FSI)

• Wednesday, May 20, Cup Series, 500 km, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

Charlotte Motor Speedway

• Sunday, May 24, Cup Series, 600 miles, 6 p.m. (FOX)

• Monday, May 25, Xfinity Series, 300 miles, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

• Tuesday, May 26, Gander Trucks, 200 miles, 8 p.m. (FS1)

• Wednesday, May 27, Cup Series, 500 km, 8 p.m. (FSI)

Other adjustments include mandating the use of protective equipment, health screenings for all individuals before entering the facility and maintaining social distancing protocols throughout the event.

Event procedures will be significantly modified in accordance with CDC, OSHA and state and local government recommendations — including hosting one-day shows at the tracks, which are all within driving distance of North Carolina race shops to minimize travel and time spent in a community.

The May 17 race and then the May 20 Cup Series race at Darlington will not replace the scheduled Southern 500 on Labor Day Weekend, the opener of the NASCAR Playoffs. NASCAR intends to keep its 10-race postseason format and tracks involved unchanged, but the situation remains fluid.

No dates beyond May 27 have been announced, but NASCAR officials have said on multiple occasions that the sanctioning body intends to run a full 36-race NASCAR Cup Series slate in 2020.

Additional schedule updates specific to tracks that have had races postponed, and are not part of this new May schedule, will be revealed at a later date.

“NASCAR and its teams are eager and excited to return to racing, and have great respect for the responsibility that comes with a return to competition,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community.”

NASCAR officials have collaborated with public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the health and safety of competitors and surrounding communities at the above events, according to the sports media release. All races will be strictly tailored, in every way, to follow specific guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

 

 

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