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Report: Atlanta NASCAR race rescheduled for June 7

ajc.com

Credit: Johnny Crawford

Credit: Johnny Crawford

The NASCAR Cup Series could resume its 2020 season in May, with an abbreviated  schedule that includes a new date of June 7 for the postponed Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

An AMS spokesman said there is no new date to be announced at this time.

NASCAR, like all live sports, has been on hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic. The sport announced a postponement of races March 13, two days before the race at AMS was to be run without spectators.

According to the Associated Press, NASCAR gave teams its latest revised schedule Monday. It shows racing resuming May 17 at Darlington Speedway in South Carolina, followed by a second race at that track May 20.

The governor of North Carolina said Tuesday that NASCAR can go forward with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway without fans in attendance at the end of May, unless health conditions deteriorate in the state.

Gov. Roy Cooper said he and state public health officials have had discussions with NASCAR and the speedway located in Concord regarding safety protocols for staging the race. Cooper said the state offered input on NASCAR’s plan, but he believes the race can go forward on Memorial Day weekend for the 60th consecutive year.

According to Autoweek, a new schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday, May 17 | Darlington 400
  • Wednesday, May 20 | Darlington 310
  • Sunday, May 24 | Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte
  • Wednesday, May 27 | Charlotte 310
  • Sunday, May 31 | Martinsville
  • Wednesday, June 3 | Bristol
  • Sunday, June 7 | Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Atlanta
  • Sunday, June 14 | Miami

Autoweek also obtained a memo that was sent to race teams Wednesday, stating NASCAR’s intention to announce the resumption of racing only through the end of May. Autoweek reported that the official announcement will be made Thursday.

In part, the memo read: “We are all very eager to see cars and trucks back on the track, but we also must recognize the substantial responsibility that comes with returning to competition. NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors and those in the local community.

“Following a thorough collaboration with public health officials, medical experts and state and federal officials, NASCAR has implemented a comprehensive plan to ensure the health and safety of our competitors and the surrounding communities.

“While we will only be announcing the return of NASCAR through the end of May, it continues to be our intention to reschedule all points races for all national series events. We hope to announce details on future events very soon.”

The race at AMS was scheduled for March 15. At the time, it was announced that the race would be postponed to a yet-to-be determined future date.

According to the AMS spokesman, “NASCAR has been working on many different schedules and scenarios to get back to racing as soon and as safely as possible.”

NASCAR ran the Daytona 500, the Penzoil 500 in Las Vegas and the FanShield 500 in Phoenix to start the season before postponing the schedule days before the race in Atlanta. So far, eight races have been postponed. The next event on the official NASCAR calendar is the All-Star race on May 16 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. That would change with the revised schedule.