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NASCAR returns with masks, temperature checks, empty stands and our undivided attention


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NASCAR returns with masks, temperature checks, empty stands and our undivided attention

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR’s season began with the Secret Service doing a safety test on the firesuit-clad pole-sitter for the Daytona 500 and 1000’s of followers ready hours in line to move by way of a metallic detector.

When the season resumes on Sunday some 13 weeks later, drivers may have their temperatures taken as they enter Darlington Raceway in South Carolina and they are going to be sporting masks as they go away their remoted motorhomes and make their method to their vehicles. There might be no followers allowed inside.

Faced with lots of its groups falling into monetary smash, NASCAR is waving the inexperienced flag on a plan it believes permits the collection to securely return to racing. Only important personnel might be permitted into the infield with strict pointers on social distancing, entry and protecting clothes.

There might be nobody to boo reigning collection champion Kyle Busch, no pre-race live performance, no pomp and most likely no flyover.

The first seven races in May are at Darlington and Charlotte Motor Speedway, tracks inside driving distance from groups’ North Carolina bases. Four are within the elite Cup Series and the opposite three are lower-tier Xfinity and Truck Series races.

NASCAR hasn’t raced since March eight so Wednesday night time occasions at Darlington and Charlotte are the one method to cram in a number of the missed occasions.

These races might be nothing near the weekly touring circus NASCAR usually levels and individuals might be determining a brand new regular once they pull as much as the gate at Darlington.

NASCAR had hoped to announce a revamped 2021 schedule in April that included midweek races, extra quick tracks and highway programs, and different efforts to shake issues up. Those plans have been delayed as finishing the 2020 jigsaw puzzle is now the precedence; NASCAR stated final week it gained’t race this 12 months as scheduled at Chicagoland Speedway or on the highway course in Sonoma, California. The spring race in Richmond, Virginia, additionally is not going to be rescheduled.

Jeff Gordon and Fox Sports broadcast companion Mike Joy will name the race from a studio in Charlotte and Regan Smith would be the solely at-track reporter for the printed crew, working the pits.

With NASCAR being the primary main sports activities league with a nationally televised occasion, Gordon acknowledges the accountability he and Joy should set the fitting tone. Gordon was a driver in NASCAR’s first race again after the Sept. 11 assaults in 2001 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. gained in Dover, Delaware, and set an iconic picture for the nation by waving the American flag out his window throughout his celebration.

“These are unique and challenging times and I hope that people that tune in are tuning in because they recognize the importance that sports play in our every day life,” Gordon stated. “I think it can show hope. I think there’s going to be a lot of eyeballs on this event to see how it’s going to play out and how it’s going to be able to continue after this, and what that means for our country as people are trying to figure out how they are going to get back to work or normalcy or school and what life is going to look like over the next year. If a sporting event like this can happen, then, what’s the next step?”

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