NASCAR Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Postponed Over Coronavirus Concerns

NASCAR will not host a race this weekend after all. On Friday, NASCAR announced this weekend's race, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, has been postponed. It was also announced next weekend's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway has also been pushed back to a later date.

“NASCAR has decided to postpone the race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend," it said in a statement. "We believe this decision is in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our fans, competitors, officials and everyone associated with our sport. We will continue to monitor this dynamic situation as we assess future race events."

This announcement comes one day after NASCAR announcing the races will happen, but fans will not be permitted to attend. Only authorized officials would be allowed to watch the race.

"At this time, NASCAR will hold its race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway without fans in attendance, the statement by NASCAR said. These events will be restricted to competitors, crews, officials and other necessary personnel to conduct the race. We will work with public health officials as we determine future scheduling beyond these events."

IndyCar is following the same path as NASCAR. The 2020 IndyCar season was slated to start this Sunday, but the organization has canceled its first four races of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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"After careful consideration, including regular communication with our event promoters, health officials and the city administrations in our respective race markets regarding COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel all NTT Indycar Series events through April," IndyCar’s statement said per Yahoo Sports. "This begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which was to begin today and run through Sunday, March 15, and continues through the AutoNation IndyCar Challenge at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which was to take place April 24-26."

The postponement and cancellations of sporting events began on Wednesday when the NBA suspended the 2020 season due to two players from the Utah Jazz contracting coronavirus. From there, the NCAA canceled the men's and women's basketball tournaments. Major League Baseball has suspended spring training and the start of the 2020 season, which was scheduled for March 26, has been delayed at least two weeks.