Coronavirus: NASCAR to return on May 17 with seven races across 11 days

Omnisport

NASCAR has announced its season will resume on May 17 following the suspension enforced by coronavirus restrictions.

That means it will become the first major American sports competition to return since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all leagues in mid-March. 

The season will return without fans at Darlington Raceway to kick off a stretch of seven races over an 11-day span at two tracks. 

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"NASCAR and its teams are eager and excited to return to racing, and have great respect for the responsibility that comes with a return to competition," said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer.

"NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community. 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."

The schedule continues at Darlington Raceway with a midweek Xfinity Series race and another Cup Series race on Wednesday, May 20, before shifting to Charlotte the following weekend. 

Charlotte Motor Speedway will host four straight days of racing, with the traditional Memorial Day weekend Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 24 and another Cup Series race on Wednesday, May 27.

In-between there will be another Xfinity Series race and a Gander Trucks event. 

"This has been a proactive effort to put our motorsports industry back to work and boost the morale of sports fans around the world, while at the same time keeping the health and safety of all who will be on site the top priority," said Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports. 

NASCAR remains committed to running a full 36-race season, but no other races have been scheduled after May 27. 

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