NASCAR officially postpones races at Atlanta and Homestead

HAMPTON, GA - FEBRUARY 24: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Little Hug Ford, and Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Ford, lead the field at the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 24, 2019 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

There will be no NASCAR racing for at least the next two weeks.  After a confusing morning where rumors flew and uncertainty was the name of the game, NASCAR officially announced Friday just after 11:30 a.m. ET via a press release that all races at Atlanta and Homestead are postponed:

“NASCAR has decided to postpone the race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend. We believe this decision is in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our fans, competitors, officials and everyone associated with our sport. We will continue to monitor this dynamic situation as we assess future race events.”

The day started at Atlanta with talk of a schedule change that would have had the Truck series race on Friday with the Cup series racing Saturday at 2 followed by the Xfinity series at 7.

Then came word that Cup teams landing at the Atlanta airport were being turned around and sent home. Speculation was that they would return Saturday for a one-day show.  Then here at Atlanta crews could then be seen repacking the team haulers they had unloaded only a few hours before. Shortly after, the official word came down via the statement about the postponement.

Moments before that the IndyCar series announced they would postpone all races through April starting with this weekend’s St. Pete grand prix.

NASCAR has never been forced to postpone two races in a row due to anything other than weather.  The last time a NASCAR was postponed for something other than weather was in 2001 when the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was postponed until the end of the season due to the attacks on 9-11.

Thursday afternoon NASCAR announced that the races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the following weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, would be run without fans to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Professional sports leagues across the country and around the world have been canceling or postponing games and entire seasons as governments try and contain the spread of the virus. In America, the NBA dramatically postponed its season just before the start of a game after a player tested positive for the virus Wednesday night. They were followed Thursday by the NHL, MLS and the MLB.

All three of NASCAR’s national touring series were scheduled to be racing at Atlanta and Homestead.

Greg Engle