By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Texas Motor Speedway are in the process of rescheduling its O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 NASCAR weekend after Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed Monday that he’s approved the sport running at the 1.5-mile circuit without fans.
Governor Abbott issued a statement regarding the track’s status after last month’s race was postponed due to the COVID-19 health crisis:
Just spoke to @NASCAR leaders.
They’re working to return to Texas at Texas Motor Speedway very soon.
I hope to announce the exciting details in the near future.
To prevent spread of #COVID19 it will be without fans.
But they will put on a great show for TV.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 20, 2020
President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway Eddie Gossage responded to Governor Abbott’s tweet, saying the track will be working with the sanctioning body and TV networks to bring some NASCAR action as soon as possible.
“Texas Governor Greg Abbott has given NASCAR the green flag to race, and our sport is eager to get back on track. Texas Motor Speedway will work aggressively with the sanctioning bodies and TV networks to give American society, as well as people around the world, a positive distraction during this crisis. A non-spectator event is not perfect because in our sport, the fans come first. But circumstances are such that this is a novel answer for the return of the sport for now. We are now working on a hard date.
“Our sport is unique because the competitors are inside the race cars with no body-to-body contact like most other sports. That is a distinct advantage over other sports and why you will likely see auto racing as the first live sport returning to action. We appreciate the Governor’s support for the return of racing at Texas Motor Speedway very soon. He’s been to the races here before and has been an admirable leader throughout this crisis.”
Time will tell when NASCAR returns to “The Lone Star State” as the sport is slated to resume at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 24. However, it could change according Sports Business Insider’s Adam Stern, who reported that Darlington Raceway could be a candidate of restarting the 72nd NASCAR Cup Series season mid-May.
Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith are working on trying to keep the Coca-Cola 600 in tact.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 20, 2020