NASCAR returned to action on Sunday with The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway. The Cup Series season had been postponed for 10 weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the drivers were back in action. Although there were some aspects that caught viewers off-guard.
One of the aspects that sparked numerous reactions was that the drivers were all wearing protective face masks prior to donning their helmets. They were walking around in firesuits and had their faces covered. The purpose of this was to prevent any drivers potentially contracting the coronavirus and was part of NASCAR's ongoing efforts to make the raceway safe for the employees. However, this still caught many fans by surprise.
When the viewers saw the masks, they reacted in a number of ways. Many applauded racing's governing body for taking the pandemic seriously and requiring all of those in attendance to wear masks. Others felt that this was utterly ridiculous due to the event taking place at an open-air track without fans in attendance. The discussions continued all afternoon as the drivers covered 400.2 miles.
I thought that was Sub-Zero pic.twitter.com/g1tmclyw4e— Randall Loftin (@ACrl05) May 17, 2020
Sooooo weird! Like wow . Idk how I feel . Is this really the new “normal”? I’m kinda sad. But happy to go racing ! 🏁🏁🏁— AmandaJ (@Amanda9J) May 17, 2020
Just more sponsorship opportunities— Brian Jones (@BJones14Smokin) May 17, 2020
@NASCAR I am guessing everyone that is participating and admitted to the race today has been tested and tested negative for covid. If every one is negative, why the masks?— Michael Patterson (@MPatt43) May 17, 2020
I love how a bunch of your mentions are "they're only wearing them so they don't get fined!" Completely disregarding the obvious point that NASCAR felt masks were one of the best ways to keep the event safe. (Also, 50K to most of these guys is like $50.)— Trenni Kusnierek (@trenni) May 17, 2020
@NASCAR @FoxNews are drivers really wearing masks under their helmets?? In a car by themselves l, In a empty stadium, after everyone was tested, before entry?? Don't they wear oxygen masks? What if one passes out and crashes into other drivers? Tech teams in gloves and masks 🤔🙄— G (@G96161663) May 17, 2020
It’s crazy time when ppl turn off a NASCAR race in anger because they cautiously wore masks.— AppalachianDemocrat (@appalachianheel) May 17, 2020
“Why aren’t these @NASCAR drivers wearing masks? I do when I drive to Kroger”!
- anonymous Facebook mom— Grindin4MyState2K20 (@NathanPurvis) May 17, 2020
Really impressed with the changes made by @NASCAR to keep drivers and crews healthy. I also hope the image of crews and drivers keeping space and wearing masks will help inspire holdouts to do the same. #WearAMask #StayHome— kris10 (@keewee10) May 17, 2020
Are they seriously wearing masks on pit road?
Good god kill me.— Leland Exotica (@___Leland) May 17, 2020
I'm a NASCAR fan, but this is just sad and pathetic. No fans in the stands. Drivers wore face masks for the national anthem. Pit crews have to wear face mask and social distance when not servicing the car. Live sports are dead— elbogz (@elbogz) May 17, 2020
Golfers with no caddies; NASCAR drivers and crew wearing masks.. we’re literally looking live at how ridiculous all of this is.— Michael (@manecci) May 17, 2020
I'm grateful to have racing back and everything, but man... this is still just so weird to see.May 17, 2020