NASCAR first to go back to racing on May 17

NASCAR will be the first motorsport series to return to racing in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, with in a 400-mile race at Darlington Raceway scheduled for May 17.

Following the postponements of races at Atlanta, Homestead, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Dover and Martinsville, Darlington will be the first race back on the calendar, albeit behind closed doors.

“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,” said Steve O’Donnell, 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.”

Following the Darlington Cup events on May 17 and 20, NASCAR moves on to Charlotte on Sunday May 24, although practice sessions have been eliminated. Only the 600-miler at Charlotte will have qualifying with the starting order on the other races yet to be revealed.

“It’s an honor for Darlington Raceway to resume the 2020 NASCAR season in just a few short weeks with three races in four days,” added Darlington track president Kerry Tharp. “Darlington is one of the most iconic and historic tracks in the sport and will be a tremendous backdrop when NASCAR returns to racing. We certainly appreciate the support from our state’s leadership in working with NASCAR to allow us to host these events.

“In accordance with the CDC and public health agency standards and protocols, no fans will be admitted to these events; however, we encourage all fans to tune in to FOX, FS1, FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.”

One man keen to get back behind the wheel of his #6 Ford Mustang will be Ryan Newman, who has been cleared to race for the Roush Fenway Racing team following his frightening accident at the end of the Daytona 500.

Motorsport Technology