NASCAR announced the realignment tracks for the sanctioning body’s initial return to racing Friday. Three tracks will lose their races for the 2020; Chicagoland, Richmond and Sonoma fell victims to the realignment of the schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NASCAR was forced to postpone its season on March 13 after running the first four races of the season. The series will re-start the season on May 17. Seven races will be held over the course of the following 10 days at Darlington and Charlotte, both tracks within driving distance of the home base for most teams, Charlotte. Each of the makeup races will be one day events without fans.
To meet their commitment of 36 point paying races for a full season, NASCAR had to realign the makeup dates and had already said three tracks will lose dates.
In a press release NASCAR said:
– Chicagoland Speedway’s NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series events have been realigned to Darlington Raceway on May 17 and May 19.
– Richmond Raceway’s spring weekend NASCAR Cup Series event has been realigned to Darlington on May 20.
– Sonoma Raceway’s NASCAR Cup Series event has been realigned to Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27.
“Due to the current pandemic,” a statement said. “NASCAR has faced several difficult decisions, including realigning race dates from several racetracks. These decisions were made following thorough collaboration with local and state government officials from across the country, including the areas of the affected racetracks. We thank all our fans for their support, and we look forward to our return to racing.”
In a press release Sonoma Raceway said:
“Sonoma Raceway has worked closely with NASCAR since the outset of the pandemic-related restrictions to find an alternate date for the wine country event, but was not able to confirm a workable time when the series could return to the West Coast given the ongoing uncertainty around large events in California. NASCAR will return to Sonoma Raceway in 2021.”
Richmond Raceway said:
NASCAR and Richmond have worked closely with public health officials, medical experts and state and federal officials throughout the development of a realigned NASCAR schedule to ensure the safety of competitors, staff, and the local community. Richmond’s spring NASCAR Cup Series race has been realigned to Darlington as part of NASCAR’s efforts to reschedule all points races for all national series events for the current season. Richmond’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race remains postponed for a future rescheduled date.
“As a sport, we continue to be united in the best interests of the safety and well-being of our fans, competitors, stakeholders, and track personnel,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “There will be brighter and healthier days ahead in the greater Richmond region when NASCAR returns to Richmond Raceway for the NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend on Sept. 11-12. We look forward to NASCAR’s best getting back on the track at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, May 17 as we launch a new countdown to the return of racing in RVA this fall.”
NASCAR and Chicagoland have worked closely with public health officials, medical experts and state and federal officials throughout the development of a realigned NASCAR schedule to ensure the safety of competitors, staff, and the local community. Chicagoland’s NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series races have been realigned to Darlington as part of NASCAR’s efforts to reschedule all points races for all national series events for the current season. Chicagoland’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series races will be realigned for a future date on the 2020 NASCAR schedule.
“The difficult decision to realign our race events was a combination of where we fell on the schedule, proximity to NASCAR’s teams and the safety and well-being of our community and larger NASCAR industry,” said Chicagoland President Scott Paddock. “We will miss the roar of the engines at Chicagoland Speedway this season, but we will be rooting for and supporting our NASCAR colleagues at Darlington Raceway as competition returns on Sunday, May 17.”
NASCAR added they will release a complete updated schedule in the near future.
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