NASCAR,which had halted racing in mid-march, announced Thursday that it would be the first major sporting series to get back into action since the COVID-19 pandemic.
NASCAR plans to run seven races over 10 days. The first three being at Darlington, with its Cup series racing on May 17, and also again Wednesday, May 20, with an Xfinity race,the feeder series,running Tuesday, May 19.
On May 24, the sport will relocate to Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina, for the Coca-Cola 600. Charlotte will also host an Xfinity race on May 25, a truck race on May 26, and another Cup race on May 27.
Safety measures during this period include;Teams of no more than 16 individuals,drivers, crew members and teams owners included, will arrive at a raceway in two weeks and temperatures will be taken before entering the track and randomly throughout the day. NASCAR is requiring that personal protective equipment be worn, including cloth face masks in the infield and fireproof sock masks or face shields on pit road and over the wall.
Teams are also required to self-monitor individuals for 5 days for symptoms before arriving at the track at the track and each person is required to keep a log of everyone they interact with,making it easier to contact trace if necessary.
In case of a health concern,the individual in question will go into a secondary screening process which will include heart rate and pulse oxygenation tests monitored by medical personnel.
Drivers will be required to self-isolate in their motorhomes while they are not racing, and spotters will be spaced out by 6 to 10 feet during events. Anyone who appears symptomatic before or during a race will be processed and removed from the event and given medical attention if necessary.
Post-race, people’s exits are going to be staggered and their temperature and other factors is going to be checked.
In addition there will be no practice sessions before any of the races, and with the exception of the Coca-Cola 600, the cars won’t qualify for grid positions. For the first race on May 17, they will line up according to owner points, with NASCAR still waiting to decide how that will work for other races.