NASCAR has made the move to postpone more races following coronavirus recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.
Sunday night, the CDC said it was recommending that all gatherings of 50 or more people not take place for eight weeks. NASCAR, which had postponed races at Atlanta and Homestead on Friday, said Monday that it was extending the duration of the postponement from two races to seven. The first NASCAR Cup Series race now scheduled is for May 9 at Martinsville.
“The health and safety of our fans, industry and the communities in which we race is our most important priority, so in accordance with recent CDC guidance, NASCAR is currently postponing all race events through May 3 with plans to return to racing in Martinsville,” the statement from NASCAR said. We appreciate the patience of our fans and we look forward to returning to the racetrack. We intend to hold all 36 races this season, with future rescheduling soon to be determined as we continue to minter this situation closely with public health officials and medical experts. What is important now transcends the world of sports and our focus is on everyone’s safety and well-being as we navigate this challenging time together.”
The decision came after NASCAR had a meeting with teams on Monday morning. The decision affects Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and Dover International Speedway and all Xfinity and Truck Series races during that same timeframe.
Additional Xfinity Series races affected by the postponement are at Texas, Bristol, Talladega and Dover. The Xfinity Series would return May 23 at Charlotte.
Other Truck Series races affected are at Texas, Richmond and Dover. The Truck Series would return May 15 at Charlotte.
While all sports teams and leagues are in less than ideal situations — to put it nicely — thanks to the necessary precautions to prevent the mass spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, NASCAR and its teams may be in the stickiest of spots among all major sports in the United States.
NASCAR teams rely on corporate sponsorship revenue to survive, especially those in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series. Without races, there is no platform for those corporate sponsorships to be visible. And while the top teams at NASCAR’s Cup Series may have the ability to keep workers on throughout any breaks in racing thanks to the deep pocketbooks of their owners, smaller teams at the Cup level and especially those at the lower levels of NASCAR could be staring down the face of severe financial hardship.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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