NASCAR has announced a new schedule for the month of May, with seven races set to be held behind closed doors across 11 days in Darlington and Charlotte as the American racing series gets its on-track action back up and underway.
The first race will take place on Sunday May 17 at Darlington with the 400-mile Cup Series race, with an Xfinity Series race following two days later at the same venue. A third race at Darlington – another Cup Series race – will take place under floodlights on Wednesday May 20.
The series will then roll on to Charlotte, North Carolina, where four racedays will be held, back-to-back, from Sunday May 24 to Wednesday May 27, with one of the series’ biggest races, the Coca-Cola 600, taking place on the first of those four racedays.
“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.”
A statement from the race series says NASCAR has “collaborated with public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials to create a comprehensive plan to ensure the health and safety of competitors and surrounding communities at the above events. All races will be strictly tailored, in every way, to follow specific guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Event procedures will be significantly modified in accordance with CDC, OSHA and state and local government recommendations — including hosting one-day shows at the above tracks, which are all within driving distance of North Carolina race shops to minimize travel and time spent in a community.
“Other adjustments include mandating the use of protective equipment, health screenings for all individuals before entering the facility and maintaining social distancing protocols throughout the event.”