UPDATE 4-30-2020: A official announcement on NASCAR’s plan to return to racing is expected this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass reports that Dover says it’s races could be moved to August as part of a doubleheader.
Dover, in its first quarter earnings news release, states It is possible postponed May event will be moved to August as a doubleheader with Cup events Saturday and Sunday. It is also possible that none of these events are held or that they are held without fans present. #nascar pic.twitter.com/LCthdXMeKU
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 30, 2020
UPDATE 4-29-2020: An updated possible schedule to return to racing a has been tweeted by Matt Weaver at Autoweek.
NASCAR will make official today its return in May for several divisions.
Su May 17 | Cup | Darlington
Tu May 19 | Xfinity | Darlington
Sa May 23 | ARCA | CMS
Su May 24 | Cup | CMS
Mo May 25 | Xfinity | CMS
Tu May 26 | Trucks | CMS
We May 27 | Cup | CMS
— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) April 29, 2020
An official announcement could come Wednesday, but is expected Thursday.
UPDATE: Statement from Speedway Motorsports’ Marcus Smith:
“On behalf of our team at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I’d like to thank Gov. Cooper and all of our state and local government officials who are working with us to get NASCAR back on track with the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend where it belongs. We’ll have more details to share soon in conjunction with NASCAR’s release of a revised event schedule.”
Statement from BMS GM Jerry Caldwell: “NASCAR hasn’t released an official schedule with dates and details yet. Once this information is available, it will be promptly shared with the media, posted on our website and disseminated via our social media channels.” #NASCAR
— Allen Gregory (@Greg_BHCSports) April 28, 2020
UPDATE: In regard to plans for NASCAR to run at Charlotte Motor Speedway later in May, North Carolina Ray Cooper said Tuesday that he believes the Coca-Cola 600 can be held unless conditions worsen.
ORIGINAL POST: From Matt Weaver at Autoweek.com:
If all goes according to plan, the NASCAR Cup Series will resume its 2020 season on May 17 at Darlington Raceway, contesting a new look makeshift schedule primarily in the southeast amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, and the a limited number of states close to the race shops in Charlotte, North Carolina with loosened restrictions, the first six races back will take place in the Carolinas and Virginias without fans in attendance.
Autoweek obtained a copy of this schedule disseminated to teams this week.
- Sunday May 17 | Darlington 400
- Wednesday May 20 | Darlington 310
- Sunday May 24 | Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte
- Wednesday May 27 | Charlotte 310
- Sunday May 31 | Martinsville
- Wednesday June 3 | Bristol
- Sunday June 7 | Atlanta
- Sunday June 14 | Miami
It was also important for NASCAR to contest four consecutive races with the 550 HP, high downforce package, since teams had a surplus of these cars prepared for races at Atlanta, Homestead and Texas prior to the shutdown.
It remains unclear where the Xfinity Series and Gander Truck Series fits into the current plans.
Rumors have NASCAR making at least a preliminary announcement regarding plans by the end of the week.
Some of the speculation/expectations:
People at the track will be limited. No fans. Races will be one day shows. There may not be live pit stops and over the wall crew will be cut down. Practice sessions are not likely early on. Teams would be expected to show up, take the cars through inspection, drivers would qualify, cars would be impound.