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Steve Phelps: NASCAR not considering requiring COVID-19 vaccinations

TALLADEGA, Ala. — NASCAR is not considering mandating its opponents be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, and President Steve Phelps stated Sunday that making it a requirement could be a “slippery slope.”

“It is important, in my opinion, that people get vaccinated,” Phelps stated earlier than the race at Talladega Superspeedway. “We will continue to monitor and change our policy as necessary in order to make sure that people are safe. We are certainly monitoring. I won’t get into the numbers specifically, but the number of people who are in this garage that have been vaccinated continues to steadily rise.”

Bubba Wallace lately partnered with Novant Health to deal with the hesitancy some have about getting vaccinated; he and Denny Hamlin are among the many only a few NASCAR drivers who’ve publicized receiving their photographs. Conversely, reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion and hottest driver Chase Elliott stated the choice to be vaccinated is a private selection he would not focus on publicly. Other drivers have taken an identical stance.

IndyCar is very encouraging its contributors obtain the vaccine. IndyCar stated at the very least 90% of the paddock had obtained at the very least its first shot forward of final week’s season opener in Alabama, and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, Colton Herta and Sebastien Bourdais had been among the many drivers at Sunday’s race in St. Petersburg, Florida, who stated they’re absolutely vaccinated.

Entrance into the Indianapolis 500 bubble subsequent month would require both a accomplished vaccination schedule or a day by day detrimental COVID-19 check.

NASCAR, with a fan base historically extra conservative in its Southern strongholds, was one of many first sports activities to renew competitors following the shutdown in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Although it accomplished its full season and by no means reported any widespread outbreaks, NASCAR has not carried out any COVID-19 testing.

But Phelps believes extra drivers will quickly be talking up about receiving the jab.

“As it relates to the driver core, I think you’ll probably see more and more, and we’ll ask the drivers frankly to try to promote the vaccination process,” Phelps stated. “They have a voice. That voice carries lots of weight.

“To the degree that we can help with folks who are uncertain about whether they want to get the vaccine, I think it would be critical to have those with the loudest voice within the sport talking about their vaccinations.”

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