The NASCAR season is moving outside of Florida after three races, providing even more potential opportunities for fans to watch events in person. The three top series will not head to Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania until late June, but the track officials are already planning to have fans in attendance. The current outlook is 20% capacity.
"Governor Tom Wolf has announced Pennsylvania outdoor sporting venues can welcome fans back at 20 percent capacity starting today," a statement from Pocono Raceway said. "We join in our fans' excitement surrounding today's news. Pocono Raceway also anticipates, should the data continue to show signs of improvement, the number of guests allowed to attend the 2021 NASCAR Doubleheader races will increase."
The statement continued and said that the health of the fans is the top priority. Track officials at Pocono will continue to work with Gov. Wolf, health officials, and NASCAR to plan for a safe weekend of racing. The goal is for several fans to watch the races at the Tricky Triangle in June.
Gov. Wolf released updated guidelines on Monday for both indoor and outdoor venues. He said that the 20% capacity is in place for all outdoor venues, no matter the size, while indoor venues can only have 15%. There are still strict guidelines in place for fans at the track. "Mask wearing, social distancing, and hand hygiene must be enforced," Gov. Wolf tweeted. "The 20% max occupancy is permitted ONLY if attendees/workers can keep 6 feet of physical distance between them."
The NASCAR drivers previously headed to Pocono Raceway in late June 2020 for a historic doubleheader weekend. They took part in the Pocono Organics 325 on Saturday, a race delayed by lightning and inclement weather, that Kevin Harvick ultimately won. The drivers then returned to the track the following day for the Pocono 350, which Denny Hamlin won after even more weather-forced delays. NASCAR made history by having all three top series race on the same day.
With stock car racing returning to Pocono Raceway in late June once again, there are questions about whether the lightning will cause even more delays. Though this is less of an issue for several fans after Monday's big announcement. Many are currently expressing excitement about having the opportunity to get on the phone and purchase a limited number of tickets.
The NASCAR Cup Series season continues on Sunday with the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube. This race will take place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch's home track. Fox will broadcast the race, which takes place at 3:30 p.m. ET.