When Will NASCAR Return? Reports and Rumors Detail a Potential May Restart
Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: General race action during the running of the 70th annual Bojangles Southern 500 on September 1, 2019 at Darlington Raceway
With the major U.S. sports postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR is reportedly getting its ducks in a row to return to the track in May.
Because auto racing doesn’t require athletes to compete in close quarters like traditional stick-and-ball sports, NASCAR can more easily comply with social distancing regulations and therefore get its season restarted, especially if all parties are willing to move forward without fans in attendance.
And according to reports, it sounds like NASCAR racing will return soon with drivers competing in empty stadiums.
Here is a projected 2020 NASCAR schedule that will be updated as more information becomes available.
When Will NASCAR Return? Projected Schedule
May 16-17 at Darlington Raceway
According to Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern, NASCAR is targeting a return in mid May. Darlington, S.C. is about a two-hour drive from Charlotte, N.C., making it an easy trip for most teams and people involved.
And because races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway were on deck before the season was postponed, NASCAR teams already have cars built and ready for intermediate-style racetracks, which is another reason to think Darlington is a viable option.
May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
I projected either May 16 or 17 for Darlington because NASCAR can race under the lights on Saturday night or during the day on Sunday. However, when it comes to Charlotte, NASCAR can run the Coca-Cola 600 in its traditional spot on the Sunday of Memorial Weekend.
Memorial Weekend is often considered the best day of the year in motorsports with Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix, IndyCar’s Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 back to back to back.
Now NASCAR can not only own the holiday weekend by itself, but it can also be the first major sport to return to action.
June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway
According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, he is working with NASCAR to return to the state “very soon.”
Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern reported that NASCAR and IndyCar have discussed a potential doubleheader in early June. And considering IndyCar is already scheduled to open its season at Texas on June 6, the tea leaves indicate NASCAR could make it a doubleheader weekend by racing the following day.