By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
More encouraging news from NASCAR were announced Thursday as the second batch of races were realigned. They’ll be racing at five tracks in a span of 23 days across all three national touring series and the ARCA Menards Series.
The sport will start their odyssey at Bristol Motor Speedway, beginning with Xfinity Series action at Bristol Motor Speedway May 30. The Cup Series will race the following day with both races being held at 3:30 pm EST on FS1.
Following Bristol, it’s off to Atlanta Motor Speedway, the track the sport were meant to run on the weekend of March 13-15 before COVID-19 impacted the entire sport and world as a whole. All three series, including the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, will be racing there June 6-7.
The only weekday race from Thursday’s announcement will take place on Wednesday, June 10 at Martinsville Speedway as it’ll host it’s first-ever Cup night race.
Homestead-Miami Speedway will then be the next venture as the three national touring series will run the 1.5-mile circuit June 13-14, with the Xfinity Series having a doubleheader.
Finally, ARCA comes into the picture as their first race since Phoenix in March will be at none other than Talladega Superspeedway June 20. Following the race, the Xfinity Series takes center stage at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Then it all ends with the Cup Series running the 500-mile race on June 21.
Like the upcoming races at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, they’ll be run without fan attendance.
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said the biggest task at hand will be continuing working with local government officials to accommodate any necessary adjustments to get the sport and society in the safest direction.
“As we prepare for our return to racing at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, the industry has been diligent in building the return-to-racing schedule,” said O’Donnell. “We are eager to expand our schedule while continuing to work closely with the local governments in each of the areas we will visit. We thank the many government officials for their guidance, as we share the same goal in our return – the safety for our competitors and the communities in which we race.”
The announced schedule which runs from May 30 to June 21 is as follows:
- Sat, May 30: Bristol (Xfinity) – 160 mi – FS1 – 3:30 PM
- Sun, May 31: Bristol (Cup) – 266 mi – FS1 – 3:30 PM
- Sat, June 6: Atlanta (Trucks) – 200 mi – FS1 – 1:00 PM
- Sat, June 6: Atlanta (Xfinity) – 251 mi – FOX – 4:30 PM
- Sun, June 7: Atlanta (Cup) – 500 mi – FOX – 3:00 PM
- Wed, June 10: Martinsville (Cup) – 263 mi – FS1 – 7:00 PM
- Sat, June 13: Homestad-Miami (Trucks) – 201 mi – FS1 – 12:30 PM
- Sat, June 13: Homestead-Miami (Xfinity) – 250 mi – FOX – 3:30 PM
- Sun, June 14: Homestead-Miami (Xfinity) – 250 mi – FS1 – 12:00 PM
- Sun, June 14: Homestead-Miami (Cup) – 400 mi – FOX – 3:30 PM
- Sat, June 20: Talladega (ARCA) – 202 mi – FS1 – 2:00 PM
- Sat, June 20: Talladega (Xfinity) – 300 mi – FS1 – 5:30 PM
- Sun, June 21: Talladega (Cup) – 500 mi – FOX – 3:00 PM
Those five tracks hosting races does have a catch, the sport announced that the races at Kansas Speedway (originally scheduled for May 30-31), Michigan International Speedway (June 5-7), the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio (May 30) and the Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway (June 5) have been postponed.
For Iowa Speedway, all national touring races and the Whelen Modified Tour race have been canceled. The Xfinity Series was supposed to make a trip down to Iowa on June 13, but will instead head to Homestead that weekend.
The 0.785-mile circuit issued the following statement regarding its cancellations:
“As NASCAR and Iowa Speedway navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to prioritize the health and safety of our fans, teams, officials, and the entire NASCAR community.
“In doing so, the difficult decision has been made by NASCAR to cancel all NASCAR national series races at Iowa Speedway for the 2020 season.”
Last Friday, NASCAR announced that the spring Richmond Raceway race, Sonoma Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway won’t be held due to COVID-19 and schedule realignments.
NASCAR’s return begins with The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway Sunday. Live coverage begins at 3:30 pm EST on FOX.