NASCAR has moved its Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway from Tuesday to Thursday due to inclement weather conditions. Initially scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Toyota 200 race is now moving up due to the rain. However, the steady downpour led to officials scheduling the Toyota 200 to Thursday for noon ET. This will be the first Xfinity Series race of the season since March 7.
The season has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The race on Thursday will be like the race on Sunday as it will have no fans in attendance. Noah Gragson, the winner of the Xfinity season opener at Daytona in February, will start from the No. 1 spot on Thursday. He will line up alongside Michael Annett, and both are teammates of JR Motorsports.
Thursday's race comes on the heels of "The Real Heroes 400," which took place at Darlington Raceway on Sunday. Kevin Harvick came out on top, and it was his 50th career victory. "I just want to thank everybody from NASCAR and all the teams for letting us do what we do," Harvick said after the race. "I didn't think it was going to be that different, then we won and it's dead silent out here. We miss the fans."
Named "The Real Heroes 400" to honor healthcare workers fighting the pandemic, the race offered a number of them the opportunity the command to start the racers' engines. "We know this pandemic has impacted all of you and the communities in which you live," NASCAR president Steve Phelps wrote in a letter to fans. NASCAR has been, and will always be about passionate race fans and the community of racing we belong. We look forward to the day we can return with fans at track, but until such time, our promise to you remains the same - to put forth the best race and racing experience possible every time we hit the racetrack."
Fans watching the race on TV got to see the return of Ryan Newman, who has been out of action since being involved in a crash at the Daytona 500. Newman finished 15th in Sunday's race but commented that Sunday was a "Great day in America," and was thankful to be back in action.