Earlier this week, it was reported NASCAR would return to action next month. And now it has been confirmed with NASCAR announcing Thursday it would resume the 2020 season on May 17 at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. This will be the first of seven races in an 11-day span at two different race tracks. The first three races will be at Darlington Raceway, and the final four will take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.
"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," Steve O'Donnell said, the 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. We thank local, state and federal officials and medical experts, as well as everyone in the industry, for the unprecedented support in our return to racing, and we look forward to joining our passionate fans in watching cars return to the track."
NASCAR has been working with public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials to make sure everyone is safe during the events. The races will follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There will be no practice sessions for any event and qualifying will only be held for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The final race of the month will take place on May 27. No other dates have been announced.
The last NASCAR event took place at Phoenix Raceway on March 8. The NASCAR Cup Series was set to visit Atlanta the following week, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was postponed as well as the event in Miami the ensuing weekend. It then led to NASCAR postponing five more events.
"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."