Nascar will begin racing again in two weeks, without fans in attendance, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The next race is scheduled for Sunday 17 May at Darlington Raceway, South Carolina, and will be the first of seven races in 11 days, providing the first Nascar action for two months.
The seven races are split between Darlington and Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina, with three at the former and four at the latter.
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In a statement, Steve O’Donnell, Nascar executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said the organisation worked with medical experts to make sure it was safe to race again.
“Nascar will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community,” he said.
“We thank local, state and federal officials and medical experts, as well as everyone in the industry, for the unprecedented support in our return to racing, and we look forward to joining our passionate fans in watching cars return to the track,” Mr O’Donnell added.
In a video message on Twitter, Ben Kennedy, Nascar vice president of racing development, added that social distancing guidelines will be adhered to.
“We are maintaining social distancing protocols throughout the event and are really trying to be as safely and responsibly as we can, as we go about this event,” he said.
Prominent Nascar drivers responded enthusiastically to the news on Twitter.
Seven-time Nascar Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson, tweeted: “I’m excited to get back racing. Safety is obviously the most important thing & I know NASCAR has been working to ensure that we have the necessary safety precautions in place.
“While it’s unfortunate that there won’t be fans in the stands, it’s obviously necessary at this time.”
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