On Thursday afternoon, after much speculation and anticipation, NASCAR announced a seven-race schedule for its top 3 series, which includes a May 17 return to racing.
The NASCAR Cup Series will kick things off with a 400-mile May 17 race at Darlington Raceway (3:30 pm EST). The Cup Series will also run a 500-kilometer May 20 race at Darlington (7:30 pm EST).
Charlotte Motor Speedway’s annual Coca-Cola 600 will be run as scheduled May 24 (6 pm EST) and another Cup race, a 500-kilometer race scheduled for May 27, will also be run at Charlotte (8 pm EST).
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will run a 200-mile race May 19 (8 pm EST) at Darlington and a 300-mile race May 25 (7:30 pm EST) at Charlotte, while the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series is scheduled to run at 200-mile race May 26 (8 pm EST) at Charlotte.
No practice sessions will be run for any event and qualifying will only be held for the Coca-Cola 600. Additionally, no fans will be in attendance for any of these seven races.
This move will allow NASCAR to be in accordance with government recommendations to run one-day shows that are within driving distance of the teams’ race shops in order to minimize travel and time spent in the community.
NASCAR will be allowing 16 people per car on the roster, but all those who go to the track are instructed to not go to the race shop thereafter. The roster includes the driver, the owner, the crew chief, the pit crew and the hauler driver.
Teams have been mandated to use protective equipment, for health screenings of all individuals to take place before entering the facility and for social distancing protocols to be followed throughout the event.
Live pit stops will still be run, as normal, despite some speculation that NASCAR would be modifying pit stop rules for these races.
NASCAR did not give any indication on any dates beyond May 27 but the sanctioning body still intends on running all 36 Cup races this season and will announce any other races at a later date. The Darlington Labor Day weekend’s races will not be affected by Darlington getting three extra races due to this.
The May 17 Cup race and the Coca-Cola 600 will each be broadcast on FOX. Meanwhile, the other five races will be broadcast on FS1.
MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have radio coverage of all seven races.