NASCAR announced Thursday it plans returning to racing on Sunday, May 17, at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. The move comes after a two-month hiatus from action due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NASCAR has scheduled seven races for an 11-day span from May 17-27 that will include two Cup Races at Darlington, and two at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The NASCAR XFINITY Series is slated to compete in two events and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will compete in one.
“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,” Mark Silverman, President, National Networks, FOX Sports said in an article posted on nascar.com. “While we are thrilled to return to the race track, 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 race tracks to follow all national and local health guidelines.”
All events will be run without fans in attendance but teams are excited to be back to work.
“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,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said in the nascar.com post. “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.”
The partial schedule announced Thursday will air on the FOX networks.
Cup: Sunday May 17 3:30 p.m. FOX
XFINITY: Tuesday May 19 8 p.m. FS1
Cup: Wednesday May 20 7:30 p.m FS1
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Cup: Sunday May 24 6 p.m. FOX
XFINITY: Monday May 25 7:30 p.m. FS1
Trucks: Tuesday May 26 8 p.m. FS1
Cup: Wednesday May 27 8 p.m. FS1
No further dates have been announced as NASCAR hopes to run all 36 events by the end of the season.