NASCAR postpones five more races; looks to return in May

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NASCAR announced Monday that it will postpone five more race weekends because of COVID-19 with the hope of returning to racing May 8-9 at Martinsville Speedway.

Race weekends postponed will be Texas (March 27-29), Bristol (April 3-5), Richmond (April 17-19), Talladega (April 24-26) and Dover (May 1-3).

NASCAR stated Monday:

“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 3rd, with plans to return racing in Martinsville. 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 monitor 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.”

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Previously, NASCAR postponed last weekend’s races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and this weekend’s races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

No makeup dates have been set.

NASCAR’s move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that that organizers cancel or postpone events for the next eight weeks that consist of 50 people or more in the United States. According to John Hopkins University and Medicine, there were 4,287 confirmed cases in the U.S. as of Monday afternoon with 74 deaths.

The White House released new coronavirus guidelines Monday afternoon that included “avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.”

Bristol Motor Speedway stated that ticketholders on file at Bristol Motor Speedway and through Food City stores may use their April 3 – 5, 2020 tickets for the postponed event, choose to receive an event credit for the full amount paid plus an additional 20% or choose to receive a full refund of their purchase price. The event credit can be applied towards any admissions, including, but not limited to, grandstand seating, infield tickets, camping, fan hospitality and pit passes. The 120% event credit can be used during the remaining 2020 or 2021 seasons for a NASCAR sanctioned event at any Speedway Motorsports owned track, subject to availability.

Also Monday, NHRA announced that it was suspending all events for 30 days because of COVID-19. NHRA said in a release that it plans to resume its schedule April 17-19 with the NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park.

Major League Baseball announced Monday it will adhere to the CDC’s recommendation and that the opening of the 2020 season would be pushed back in accordance with those guidelines, meaning the season would not begin until mid-May.