CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR announced Thursday it will return to racing on May 17, which will kick off a slate of races that includes four Cup Series events at two racetracks -- Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR Cup Series will return to Darlington Raceway on Sunday, May 17, with a 400-mile event scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
NASCAR will host its first on-track event since mid-March. The opening slate of races is as follows:
Sunday, May 17 at 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX/MRN/SiriusXM)
Wednesday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1/MRN/SiriusXM)
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Sunday, May 24 at 6 p.m. ET (FOX/PRN/SiriusXM)
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Wednesday, May 27 at 8 p.m. ET (FS1/PRN/SiriusXM)
Each of NASCAR’s return events will be run without fans in attendance. Further schedule adjustments will be announced in the future.
“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.”
“We are excited to welcome back the FOX NASCAR season to our airwaves to provide a return to live sports, a move toward normalcy and a much-needed distraction during these unprecedented times,” said Mark Silverman, president, National Networks, FOX Sports. “While we are thrilled to return to the racetrack, the health and safety of our employees and all race participants is our top priority. We will continue working in lockstep with our partners at NASCAR and the racetracks to follow all national and local health guidelines.”
Following thorough collaboration with public health officials, medical experts and state and federal officials, NASCAR has implemented a comprehensive health and safety plan. In accordance with CDC, OSHA and state and local government recommendations, nearly every aspect of how the event is conducted will be significantly modified, including:
- One-day shows
- Mandated use of personal protective equipment throughout the event
- Health screenings for all individuals prior to entering the facility, while inside the facility and exiting the facility
- Social distancing protocols throughout the event
- Strict limits on the number of individuals who are granted access into each facility
As NASCAR works toward the execution of these events, the sanctioning body will continue to work with state and local authorities based on trends and local restrictions.
In-race competition procedures remain largely unchanged, though NASCAR will eliminate practice for all events during this opening return slate, as well as qualifying for all events except the 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.