Darlington Raceway to Host the Return of NASCAR, Sports to the Nation May 17
The sports world has been in a deep freeze since the COVID-19 outbreak, but the thaw begins May 17 at Darlington Raceway with the first of three NASCAR races there that week!
That great news is tempered with the fact circumstances won’t allow for people in the stands for the races, but it’s a net win for the track and local race fans because the previously scheduled Southern 500 for Sept. 6 will still be held.
Here are the specifics:
May 17 – A 400-mile Cup Series race at 3:30pm on FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.
May 19 – An 200-mile Xfinity Series race at 8pm on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.
May 20 – Another Cup Series race at 7:30pm on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. It will be 310 miles (500 kilometers).
“It’s an honor for Darlington Raceway to resume the 2020 NASCAR season in just a few short weeks with three races in four days,” said Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp. “Darlington is one of the most iconic and historic tracks in the sport and will be a tremendous backdrop when NASCAR returns to racing. We certainly appreciate the support from our state’s leadership in working with NASCAR to allow us to host these events.”
In addition to television, fans will be able to follow the action on Darlington Raceway’s social channels.
“As our nation restarts, I can think of no better place for NASCAR to drop the green flag than at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina,” added S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster. “Team South Carolina stands ready to help NASCAR restart the season at Darlington Raceway with three races next month that can be enjoyed by fans from home on television, radio, and online.”
Officials are widely encouraging fans support the Darlington events by staying home and watching the races on television or the other platforms mentioned, due to social distancing in place during COVID-19.
NASCAR is taking steps inside the track. There will be no practice or qualifying sessions for the races. NASCAR has also mandated protective equipment as well as health screenings and social distancing.
NASCAR plans to keep its 10-race postseason format at originally scheduled tracks, but could update that if necessary.
Southern 500 race weekend is still scheduled for September 4-6 and will again feature a “throwback” to NASCAR Champions…Past, Present and Future.
This will mark the first time the sport’s oldest superspeedway (1950) has hosted three Cup Series races in a single season.