by Scott Chancey
NASCAR’s season will resume the weekend of May 17 at Darlington Raceway without fans, although some details are pending, according to sources.
It’s uncertain whether just the NASCAR Cup series race will run or if it will be a full weekend that includes the Xfinity Series.
According to sources, NASCAR teams need to be in their shops to set up cars by May 1 in order to have enough time to get ready. That was not certain until Thursday when North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said they can do just that as an essential business, as long as there’s social distancing.
Also on Thursday, South Carolina tourism chief Duane Parrish told The State newspaper that NASCAR would come to Darlington after the season returns.
The mid-May race will take the place of the all-star race that was scheduled for May 16 at Charlotte. The status of that event is not clear.
It’s unclear if the mid-May race will count as the Southern 500 weekend. Or, if this would be a regular race weekend, and NASCAR would return to Darlington during Sept. 4-6 for the Southern 500 weekend – NASCAR’s official throwback celebration. This year’s 71st running of the Southern 500 was scheduled before the season to start at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 on NBCSN is also scheduled to start the NASCAR playoffs.