NASCAR is set to resume its 2020 season on Sunday, May 17 at Darlington Raceway, the sanctioning body announced on Thursday (April 30).
“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 via press release. “NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community.”
The first race back will be a 400-mile event, beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. The NASCAR Xfinity Series will take to the Track Too Tough to Tame for a 200-mile event on Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. Cup will return to Darlington on Wednesday, May 20 for a 500-kilometer race, starting at 7:30 p.m.
NASCAR will run a quartet of races at Charlotte Motor Speedway between the top three national touring divisions, starting with Cup on Sunday, May 24, the annual Coca-Cola 600. Xfinity will take to the track on Monday, May 25, with the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series taking to the track Tuesday (May 26) and Cup returning for a 500-kilometer race on Wednesday (May 27).
DATE TRACK SERIES DISTANCE NET START (ET)
Sun, May 17 Darlington Cup 400 mi FOX 3:30 PM
Tue, May 19 Darlington Xfinity 200 mi FS1 8:00 PM
Wed, May 20 Darlington Cup 500 km FS1 7:30 PM
Sun, May 24 Charlotte Cup 600 mi FOX 6:00 PM
Mon, May 25 Charlotte Xfinity 300 mi FS1 7:30 PM
Tue, May 26 Charlotte Gander Trucks 200 mi FS1 8:00 PM
Wed, May 27 Charlotte Cup 500 km FS1 8:00 PM
All events will be one-day shows with no practice sessions for all events. There will be no qualifying with the exception of the Coca-Cola 600.
After collaborating with public health officials, medical experts and state and federal officials, NASCAR has implemented a comprehensive health and safety plan. NASCAR will have health screenings for anyone entering the racetracks, as well as having them inside and exiting the venue. Social distancing protocols are in affect.
Per sources, team owners from the Xfinity Series had a meeting with NASCAR officials Thursday morning, where NASCAR shared the schedule and went over protocol with the teams for the first time. The starting lineup for Darlington will be based off a random draw for teams that sit first through 15th in the owner standings and 16-36. Following the Xfinity race at Darlington, the top-15 finishers are set to be inverted, for the Charlotte event, six days later.
The schedule remains fluid, but dates at Martinsville, Bristol, Atlanta and Homestead are expected. All events will be closed to spectators and open to a bare minimum of crewmen, drivers and NASCAR officials.