The month of May looms large over the NASCAR industry. That’s when the sanctioning body hopes to return to racing after it postponed seven races because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
May also looms over Joey Logano and his family but in a good way.
“The crazy thing about this, (wife) Brittany is pregnant right now,” Logano said Thursday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.” “She’s due May 8th. So go figure.”
May 8 is when Cup cars are scheduled to be on track in preparation for the following day’s race at Martinsville Speedway.
While no one asked for eight weeks off because of a pandemic or all the misfortune arising from it, Logano is seeking a silver lining in the situation.
“She was a week early with (first child) Hudson,” Logano said. “And I’m hoping she’s going to be a week or so early again. Not too early, but a little bit early and I can be there for that, which would be a blessing in disguise for this whole thing.”
If the Martinsville race is able to go off as scheduled, what comes after that remains to be seen.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps said earlier this week the sanctioning body intends to hold all the remaining races on the Cup schedule, including the All-Star Race.
Logano was adamant “you have to” run all 36 Cup races.
“Think about if you canceled races,” Logano told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “So you wouldn’t run them at all. Well, now you’re draining the industry of a lot of money. These sponsors come in to pay to run a race. A lot of them are per race.
“So if you start eliminating races, well, it doesn’t change how much you have to pay the employees at the race team. So your revenue goes down a lot if we don’t race. So we gotta race, and there’s going to be plenty of hungry fans to watch it. Everyone’s going to be hungry to watch some sports when we get going again or want to go to races or get out of their houses at that point.”
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Logano points to the first races that were postponed at Atlanta and Homestead.
“They’re racetracks that we go to once a year,” Logano said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “So if you live in that area, maybe that was your race you were going to go to because you couldn’t afford to go to one further away.
“You almost feel like you got cheated out of a race if we don’t run it. So finding a way to run the race just makes sense from a fan’s perspective, from a business perspective, we gotta run these things. Now my question is, do we gotta get them all in before the playoffs start? Because that’s what sets the playoffs, is the regular season.”
Phelps said Tuesday it’s NASCAR’s desire to reschedule all the postponed races before the playoffs start so that the season can end at Phoenix Raceway as planned.
“There’s a lot of questions from a scheduling standpoint,” Logano said. “How long have we been talking about running a midweek race?
“I think when you look at the Daytona 500 … we ran it on a Monday night (in 2012). The ratings were great. That’s a big part of sports is what TV ratings are. That was a really big win. The tough part about that is for the racetracks. Now you’re racing on a weekday, people have to go to work, it’s harder to get people into the stands. It’s a balancing act, right? You get better TV but maybe less people with access to the facility. …. Now our hands are kind of tied, and we’re forced to possibly do that and really get a good test on what that’s all about.”
With so much time now on his hands, Logano said “You sit around and you can’t help but let your mind wonder thinking about (it).”