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NASCAR Resumes with Realigned Schedule & Covid Precautions

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    As select states and cities begin to tentatively open back up gradually from the pandemic shut down, with a wait and see approach to lifting stay at home orders, the sports world has been eager to do that same, and get back to business as usual.

    Of course, we won't be back to anything resuming full normal for some time now, and no one knows when that will be. But we do have a few sports that can reasonably comply with social distancing guidelines and resume events fairly well, at least in theory. That would be NASCAR, PGA Golf and the UFC. Coincidentally, all three of those sports are starting back up in either May or June.

    The UFC is holding it's first event May 9th. NASCAR will begin its racing schedule on May 17th. And golf comes back starting June 11th.

    For NASCAR specifically, since they lost about 2 solid months from their schedule, they had to make some tough decisions and ended up axing three major races from their 2020 schedule -- The Chicagoland 400, Toyota 350 and the Toyota Owners 400 were all cancelled. They instead added two May races at Darlington and another at Charlotte, also at the end of May.

    The rest of the NASCAR schedule remains tentatively (mostly) exactly the same. The Coca-Cola 600 is still happening on the same day and time for example.

    A major, expected difference though is all May races will be raced without any fans in the stands. So we will get at least 5 NASCAR races with empty stands. And then they will evaluate if any fans will be allowed for June races, or how that will go down.

    Also everyone is required to wear masks and comply with social distancing measures, so all crew members will be required to keep extra distance from each other at all times. That will be hard to do at times (thinking pit stops mostly). I'm not sure if drivers will have to wear masks.. maybe they will until they get into their cars?

    Other differences -- there will be no practice rounds or qualifiers for any May races, except the Coca-Cola 600 for some reason. But they will allow pits like normal.

    No doubt this is going to be strange to watch on TV. NASCAR's plan is to go about business as normal as possible and hope for the best. They definitely want to get fans back in the stands for races ASAP but hard to say when that will be possible. Perhaps they can go at 25% capacity at some point in June.

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    NASCAR's VP of Racing Development interview on racing coming back and how they are planning to ensure they do it as safely as possible --

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    It's great to see NASCAR returning! I assumed it'd be without fans, but a couple of the changes don't make much sense to me.

    there will be no practice rounds or qualifiers for any May races, except the Coca-Cola 600

    I wonder how this is going to work. I can understand no practices, but no qualifiers? What are they planning to do here? I wonder why they cut that in particular out. And why give the Coca-Cola 600 this and none other?

    Other than that it all seems like great news!

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    PowerPlay Wrote:

    there will be no practice rounds or qualifiers for any May races, except the Coca-Cola 600

    I wonder how this is going to work. I can understand no practices, but no qualifiers? What are they planning to do here? I wonder why they cut that in particular out. And why give the Coca-Cola 600 this and none other?

    Seems like they are just trying to limit the time of the track as much as possible. So instead of qualifiers they are just going to go off of current rankings for positions. Not sure why they are doing that for all May races except the Coca-Cola 600, but I'm guessing its because the other races are added events to the schedule, while the CC600 is not.

    This race today should be really interesting to watch. They are calling it 'The Real Heroes 400'.