NASCAR can go ahead with Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway without fans in late May, unless health conditions deteriorate in the state, Governor of Carolina said on Tuesday North.
Governor Roy Cooper said he and state health officials have had discussions with NASCAR and the Concord speedway regarding safety protocols for running the race. Cooper said the state had offered advice on the NASCAR plan, but he thought the race could continue on Memorial Day weekend for the 60th year in a row.
“We think if the health conditions don’t go down, we think we can hold the Coca-Cola 600,” said Cooper. “I think NASCAR will make this announcement, but that is what will happen. “
NASCAR gave teams their latest revised schedule on Monday, showing that the race will resume on May 17 at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, followed by a second race on this track on May 20. The 600 will be held on May 24, followed by a second race in Charlotte on May 27.
Marcus Smith, President and CEO of North Carolina-based Speedway Motorsports, thanked Cooper for working with Charlotte Motor Speedway “to put NASCAR back on track with the Coca-Cola 600 over Memorial Day weekend to which it belongs ”.
Last week, Cooper extended the North Carolina home stay order until May 8. Most of the teams are based in the Charlotte area and are expected to return to work this week as essential businesses.
NASCAR completed four of its 36 races before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The sanctioning body has promised to run all 36 Cup Series races, although the schedule will change dramatically and some tracks will likely be abandoned this season if their condition does not permit a sporting event.
NASCAR has not yet released its safety plans, but is expected to limit team strength, organize daytime events and eliminate qualifications and train in many places. A proposal to eliminate pit stops to reduce the number of team staff on the track has stalled.
South Carolina has announced that it will host a “spring” NASCAR race, while Florida and Texas have declared NASCAR welcome to participate without spectators. NASCAR at the moment is trying to plan events only on tracks within driving distance of the Charlotte area so that teams can get to a track, compete and get home in one day without having to travel by plane or hotel accommodation.
Darlington is owned by NASCAR, while Speedway Motorsports owns the Charlotte track. Since the tracks are likely to host more events than expected, the track operators are likely to abandon the events on other sites so that the 36 races can be adapted.
Eight events have been suspended, but NASCAR may find it difficult to move forward with certain events, such as the June race scheduled for the Sonoma Raceway in California. This track belongs to Speedway Motorsports, which could move the Sonoma date to another of its properties.
This kind of mix is what NASCAR is currently working on, as well as who can get on the track and how to socially outrun the teams.
North Carolina President Tim Moore, one of the state legislators who originally asked Cooper to allow the race on Charlotte Motor Speedway, welcomed the return of NASCAR and praised the “Tar spirit Heel “.
“I appreciate this collaborative effort to help NASCAR operate the Coca-Cola 600 and I believe it is an important step in bringing our economy back, bringing businesses back and bringing exciting competitive events to North Carolina,” said he declared.