NASCAR is back following a COVID-19-caused postponement. The Real Heroes 400 will be the first race held since the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 was postponed in mid-March and led to a 10-week delay. Racing fans are fired up about the opportunity to watch their favorite drivers once again, and here is when they can catch the action.
NASCAR will hold the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday. The race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET, and FOX will broadcast the festivities. Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon will once again be calling the action, albeit from the Charlotte studio instead of the track. Fans unable to watch the action can listen via MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The race was named The Real Heroes 400 as part of a massive project to honor those fighting the coronavirus in emergency rooms and hospitals.
With continuing health and safety concerns due to the coronavirus, the drivers did not take part in any qualifying or practice laps. Instead, NASCAR determined the starting order through a combination of rankings in owner points and a lottery on Thursday. Brad Keselowski secured the pole position for the race. Alex Bowman will join him on the front line. Matt DiBenedetto — sans giraffe onesie — Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola will round out the top five spots. Joey Logano, who has won two races during the 2020 Cup Series season, will start in the ninth position.
Before the green flag waving, country star Darius Rucker will set the stage for the 400.2-mile race. He will sing the national anthem, albeit virtually. Dozens of healthcare workers will then serve as grand marshals for The Real Heroes 400 and will simultaneously tell the drivers to start their engines.
These grand marshals will also be represented on the cars. NASCAR, FOX Sports, and the race teams decided to have the name of an individual healthcare worker replace the driver's name above the door on each car. The Real Heroes Project logo will also be displayed on the stock cars as part of a continuing partnership focused on thanking those on the front lines.
"As the coronavirus challenges our country in unprecedented ways, the frontline healthcare workers — the nurses, paramedics, emergency physicians, and many others — continue to inspire us with their strength and bravery in caring for their fellow Americans," Jill Gregory, NASCAR executive vice president and chief marketing and content officer, said in a press release. "These men and women are the real heroes, and the NASCAR industry is incredibly proud to honor their selflessness and service as we return to racing on Sunday."