Story By: Richard Thomas
File Photos By: Sol Tucker
As the haulers made their way to the infield area at Darlington, things just seemed so different. Masks, testing, no fans, no merchandise trailers, no hot pit pass fans… the list could go on, but one thing is for sure, NASCAR wants its fans to see racing safely.
Of the seven NASCAR races currently scheduled across all three national series in the span of 11 days, Sunday’s event at Darlington is the only “day” race. Although, with a race distance of 400 miles, chances are Sunday’s event will end under the lights.
Another big factor in the week of events they have planned is a tropical storm that is supposed to bring heavy rains all week to most parts of the East Coast, with quite a bit of it in North and South Carolina. While Darlington is more inland, most of the state could see rains. Could this impact the week of racing scheduled?
With the exception of next week’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which will run on its originally scheduled date, Sunday’s Cup Series race at Darlington is the longest on the current schedule until a 500-mile race at Atlanta in June.
While other sports have tried the “no fans” TV broadcasts, UFC and WWE have found that the sport is just not the same without real fans. Fans will watch, but possibly only because there is just not to do in a “Safer at Home or “Stay at Home” scenario.
One thing we will watch for today is the lack of testing for these teams and the limited amount of team members allowed on track per NASCAR and local regulations in the State of South Carolina. Lets hope that none of these people test positive after the race, as we could be right back to the same situation we were in prior to the restart.
Here are some major differences you will see the remainder of the season.
Richmond Raceway’s springtime Cup Series event on the initial schedule for April 19 has been moved to Darlington on May 20. A Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race that was to be run April 18 remains postponed, with officials saying details would come later for rescheduling. The .75-mile Virginia track’s Sept. 11-12 race weekend remains on the schedule.”
Sonoma Raceway’s Cup Series date for June 14 has been moved to Charlotte on May 27. Officials for the road course said in a release that they had worked with NASCAR to find an alternate date on the schedule, but that a suitable replacement could not be reached, ‘given the ongoing uncertainty around large events in California.'”
Below are the four NASCAR Cup Series races that are currently postponed (and their original dates on the schedule):
- Texas (March 29)
- Dover (May 3)
- Kansas (May 31)
- Michigan (June 7)