NASCAR is b.a.c.k.
Today, NASCAR announced that it would be returning to the track, without fans, on the weekend of May 17 at Darlington Raceway.
The series will utilize mid-week races and states that are opening up restrictions allowing NASCAR to hold events without crowds.
Along with that comes companion races for the Xfinity and Truck Series, held on different days throughout the week.
NASCAR announces return to track for top tours
The Cup Series will kick it off on May 17 before the Xfinity Series runs on the following Tuesday. Cup will run once more for a second race at Darlington on Wednesday May 20 before the whole operation shifts to Charlotte.
The full schedule for the tours can be found below.
Each race will be a one-day show with no practice. Qualifying will be held only for the Coca Cola 600.
NASCAR intends to keep the rest of its schedule intact, it said in the statement released.
“Of note, the May 17 race — and then the May 20 Cup Series race at Darlington — will not replace the scheduled Southern 500 on Labor Day Weekend, the opener of the NASCAR Playoffs. NASCAR intends to keep its 10-race postseason format and tracks involved unchanged, but the situation remains fluid.
No dates beyond May 27 have been announced, but NASCAR officials have said on multiple occasions that the sanctioning body intends to run a full 36-race NASCAR Cup Series slate in 2020.
Additional schedule updates specific to tracks that have had races postponed, and are not part of this new May schedule, will be revealed at a later date.”
The decision to race comes after the series suspended its season beginning on March 15 at Atlanta and has re-scheduled eight races amid concerns over the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak since then.
North Carolina extended a stay-at-home order on April 23, but NASCAR shops were deemed as essential businesses, giving teams time to prep and work on cars for what will be a shake up to the 2020 series schedule.
The teams were concerned about the first few races back being within driving distance of Charlotte, where most shops are located. Darlington earned the first bid.
The series is expected to stay somewhat regional early on in this process, but nothing has been announced officially.
NASCAR upcoming Schedule
(announced Thursday, times Eastern)
Sunday, May 17 | Cup Series at Darlington (500 miles – 3:30 p.m. FOX)
Tuesday, May 19 | Xfinity Series at Darlington (200 miles – 8:00 p.m. FS1)
Wednesday, May 20 | Cup Series Race 2* at Darlington (310 miles – 7:30 p.m. FS1)
Sunday, May 24 | Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte (600 miles – 6:00 p.m. FOX)
Monday, May 25 | Xfinity Series at Charlotte (300 miles – 7:00 p.m. FS1)
Tuesday, May 26 | Truck Series at Charlotte (200 miles – 8:00 p.m. FS1
Wednesday, May 27 | Cup Series Race 2* at Charlotte (310 miles – 8:00 p.m. FS1)
Matt Weaver of Autoweek reported earlier this week that the NASCAR Cup Series schedule has been planned out for 30 days out of the first race back.
There is no word on the Xfinity, Truck, or ARCA events we will see, but below is the supposed Cup Series slate.
Planned NASCAR Cup Series Revised Schedule
Sunday, May 17 | Darlington 400-mile race
Wednesday, May 20 | Darlington 310-mile race
Sunday, May 24 | 61st Annual Coca Cola 600
Wednesday, May 27 | Charlotte 310-mile race
Sunday, May 31 | Martinsville Speedway
Wednesday, June 3 | Bristol Motor Speedway
Sunday, June 7 | Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sunday, June 14 | Homestead-Miami Speedway
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Also, during the rest of the Shut Down period, feel free to visit our central hub of classic race coverage our writers have worked hard to compile during the break.