Daytona International Speedway

Here is what upcoming NASCAR Cup races fans can attend

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Wednesday saw NASCAR announce the remaining regular season schedule for all three national series, including six Cup Series races.

In total, 10 Cup points races and the All-Star Race remain in the regular season, beginning with Sunday’s race at Kentucky Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, not all tracks are allowing fans to attend.

Here are the fan policies for the remainder of the Cup Series regular season.

Kentucky Speedway (Sunday)

Fans will not be allowed to attend.

 

All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (July 15)

Up to 30,000 fans will be allowed to attend the race.

 

Texas Motor Speedway (July 19)

Fans making up to 50% of the track’s capacity will be allowed to attend.

 

Kansas Speedway (July 23)

Fans will not be able to attend.

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Aug. 2)

Roughly 19,000 fans will be able to attend.

 

Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 8-9)

Fans will not be able to attend.

 

Daytona International Speedway (Aug. 16 and Aug. 29)

“We’re working towards having fans and hopefully we’ll have some news on when we’re going to go on sale in the next couple of days,” said track president Chip Wile Thursday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.”

 

Dover International Speedway (Aug. 22 – 23)

Speedway officials remain in consultation with local, state and federal health officials, as well as Delaware Gov. John Carney, on whether fans will be allowed in the stands with appropriate social distancing for the August events.

NASCAR reveals schedule through end of Cup regular season

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NASCAR has revealed its updated schedule through the end of the Cup regular season, plus dates for the Xfinity, Trucks and the ARCA Menards series.

The stretch of announced races begins Aug. 7 and ends on Aug. 30.

The Cup Series schedule includes doubleheaders at Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 8-9) and Dover International Speedway (Aug. 22 – 23) and two visits to Daytona International Speedway.

While the Cup regular season will end on Daytona’s 2.5-mile oval (Aug. 29), the first visit to the track will be for a race on Daytona’s road course (Aug. 16), which replaces the originally scheduled race at Watkins Glen International that was canceled because of COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in New York.

All three national series and ARCA will hold races on the 3.56-mile Daytona road course.

“Daytona International Speedway has a storied history like no other in motorsports,” track president Chip Wile said in a release. “The sport of NASCAR gets to add a surprise chapter of road course racing to the venue’s legacy. Throughout the years, we have had many memorable moments with sports cars and motorcycles, but now NASCAR will take center stage on the road course at the World Center of Racing.”

Complete details on the road-course weekend, including fan attendance, are being finalized and will be announced in the near future.

These will be the first NASCAR points races held on Daytona’s road course. The Cup Series originally was set to debut on the road course with next year’s Busch Clash.

This will be the first season without a NASCAR race at Watkins Glen International since the Cup Series returned there in 1986 after a 21-year absence.

The layout of the Daytona road course.“This is an unprecedented time in the history of our nation and Watkins Glen International,” WGI President Michael Printup said in a release. “The dynamic situation we are all confronting is impacting our daily lives and activities in unimaginable ways. While we are disappointed we will not experience NASCAR in New York this year, as we look broadly at the current pandemic in our country and around the world, we must focus first on everyone’s safety and well-being as NASCAR seeks the best way to continue delivering a remarkable on-track product week after week.”

The Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Daytona (Aug. 16) has been realigned from Iowa Speedway. The Truck Series also will not race at Eldora Speedway (originally scheduled for July 30) and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (originally scheduled for Sept. 6). Those races will be realigned to dates and locations to be determined.

“As a community, racers and race fans need to heed the advice of our local doctors and nurses: practice social distancing; wear a cloth face covering, bandana or mask; wash your hands; and keep sanitizer at the ready,” Roger Slack, general manager of Eldora Speedway, said in a release. “The virus knows no county line or state border and it’s on all of us to do our part to stop the spread. Until we do so, Eldora and a lot of speedways are going to sit empty.”

The Xfinity Series will not race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (originally scheduled for May 30) and Michigan (originally scheduled for June 6). Those races will be realigned to dates and locations to be determined.

The Truck Series race at Gateway at WWT Raceway on Aug. 30 will be part of a same-day doubleheader with IndyCar. Fans will be allowed to attend the event.

Below is the full schedule slate announced by NASCAR.

(ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN)

Aug. 7 at Michigan: Truck race (6 p.m. on FS1)

Aug. 8 at Road America: Xfinity race (Noon on NBCSN)

Aug. 8 at Michigan: Cup race (4 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 9 at Michigan: ARCA race (1 p.m. on MavTV)

Aug. 9 at Michigan: Cup race (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN)

Aug. 14 at Daytona road course: ARCA race (5 p.m. on MavTV)

Aug. 15 at Daytona road course: Xfinity race (3 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 16 at Daytona road course: Truck race (Noon on FS1)

Aug. 16 at Daytona road course: Cup race (3 p.m. on NBC)

Aug. 21 at Dover: ARCA race (2 p.m. on Trackpass)

Aug. 21 at Dover: Truck race (5 p.m. on FS1)

Aug. 22 at Dover: Xfinity race (12:30 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 22 at Dover: Cup race (4 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 23 at Dover: Xfinity race (1 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 23 at Dover: Cup race (4 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 28 at Daytona: Xfinity race (7:30 p.m. on NBCSN)

Aug. 29 at WWT Raceway: ARCA race (6 p.m. on MavTV)

Aug. 29 at Daytona: Cup regular season finale (7:30 p.m. on NBC)

Aug. 30 at WWT Raceway: Truck race (Noon on FS1)

NASCAR, IMG Arena to offer virtual betting game to global sportsbooks

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NASCAR on Wednesday announced a new virtual sports betting game in partnership with sports betting service/content hub IMG Arena.

Created by Leap Gaming, the game — called “The Official NASCAR Virtual” and expected to be released in the next few weeks — will be offered to international sports betting operators and will replicate some of NASCAR’s most noted tracks including Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Watkins Glen International.

In addition, NASCAR and IMG Arena have formed a long-term partnership that will allow international sports betting operators outside of the U.S. and Canada to live-stream NASCAR Cup races for the first time.

“Adding NASCAR to our client roster is a proud achievement,” Freddie Longe, Executive Vice President and Marketing Director at IMG Arena, said in a media release. “The brand is renowned in sport and entertainment with the high-octane race series providing must-watch, appointment-viewing content for more than 70 years.

“The partnership significantly bolsters our streaming and official virtual sports offering with a product that we expect to be popular in a number of different markets.”

London-based IMG Arena works with more than 460 sportsbook operators worldwide, offering 24/7 live streaming and on-demand virtual sports products.

Earlier this year, NASCAR created its first free-to-play mobile game with Penn National Gaming called “NASCAR Finish Line,” which offers fans the chance to win a $25,000 jackpot every race.

NASCAR’s break from racing familiar to Kyle Busch

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When NASCAR returns to the track Sunday at Darlington Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on Fox), it will mark the end of a 10-week gap since its last race at Phoenix Raceway on March 8.

It’s a familiar situation for Kyle Busch.

Five years ago, injuries caused Busch to go 11 weeks between NASCAR starts before he returned for the All-Star Race in May.

Busch fractured his right leg and left foot in a late-race crash in the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway in February. The All-Star Race was his first Cup start since the 2014 season finale.

“I’m looking at a lot like 2015,” Busch said this week in a media release. “Being off for 11 weeks after the accident in Daytona and then coming back to racing (one weekend later than this year), actually. The biggest difference is that I’m not recovering from an injury and everyone else has had the same time off that I had.”

More: Kyle Busch to compete in NASCAR’s first seven national series races back from break

The NASCAR industry has been on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notable drivers in Sunday’s race who have sat out for longer than 10 weeks are Ryan Newman, who suffered an injury in the Daytona 500, and Matt Kenseth, who hasn’t raced in NASCAR since 2018 and replaced Kyle Larson during the break.

“So I think I have a little bit of experience doing this even though it’s not the exact same thing,” Busch said. “As far as the feel at Darlington, it’s probably going to feel a little bit like the beginning of the year again, but you don’t really know until you get there and see how it feels.”

Busch detailed how he’s kept in racing shape over the last two and a half months, which included taking part in NASCAR’s Pro Invitational iRacing Series.

“There have been a number of things I’ve been doing over the last couple of months,” Busch said. “I’ve been working out around probably 90 percent of the days that we’ve been off. I’ve been continuing what I usually do as far as working out goes, so physically I’ll definitely be ready. It takes a little time to get back into race shape, but being in good shape overall shortens that a bit.

“I’ve been doing plenty of iRacing over the last several months, too, so that should help a bit, as well. It’s not exactly the same, but there are some principles that I can take from iRacing that will help me when we get back to racing. There has been a ban on all of the simulator testing until recently. I’ve been over to the (Toyota Racing Developing) sim rig already, just getting some reps in there, as well.”

Like his fellow competitors, Busch and the No. 18 team won’t get any practice or qualifying time before the green flag drops on Sunday.

“I think the mindset for Turn 1 at the start of Darlington, and really all the races where we haven’t been on track yet, would be to take it easy,” Busch said. “It’s a 400-mile race on Sunday and there will be plenty of time. … It won’t take too long to get acclimated again.”

Texas, Daytona among tracks hosting high school graduation ceremonies

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The school lives of many American students were put on hold over the last two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic as learning went from the classroom to the living room.

On top of that, many senior classes had their graduating classes canceled or modified in creative ways. Among those are students who attend high schools near Texas Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Phoenix Raceway.

The tracks have announced they will host graduation ceremonies for area high schools throughout this month and in June.

Texas Motor Speedway will host ceremonies for all school districts in Denton County: including Aubrey ISD; Argyle ISD; Denton ISD; Krum ISD; Lake Dallas ISD; Lewisville ISD; Little Elm ISD; Northwest ISD; Pilot Point ISD; Ponder ISD; Sanger ISD and Westlake Academy.

All graduates will accept their diploma in-person while wearing academic regalia in addition to masks. After walking across a staging area, they’ll receive their diplomas in Victory Lane. Families of graduates will socially distance as they watch from their cars in the infield. The ceremonies will be broadcast on the track’s “Big Hoss” video board on the backstretch as well as via live stream.

“A great deal of thanks and appreciation for this program must go to (Denton County) Judge Andy Eads and his staff for their significant efforts in making this idea come to fruition in what was really a very short amount of time,” Eddie Gossage, President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway, said in a press release. “A high school graduation ceremony is such an important achievement and lifelong memory for students as well as their families and friends. We are honored by the opportunity to support each and every Denton County high school graduate as best we can in these difficult times.”

TMS is no stranger to hosting high school graduations. Gossage has turned driver introduction ceremonies into make shift graduation ceremonies for NASCAR drivers, including Erik Jones and Cole Custer.

On May 31, Daytona will host graduation ceremonies for students of Flagler-Palm Coast and Matanzas High School in Flagler County, Florida.

While details on the logistics of the ceremony are still being discussed, graduates will walk across the stage of the Ocean Center to receive their diploma before getting in a car to ride across the historic track’s start-finish line.

Each ceremony will be simulcast via radio inside the facility and live-streamed on the FlaglerSchools.com website. Only one vehicle is permitted for each graduate and their family. Additionally, all in attendance must remain in their vehicles.

“The France family has been committed to supporting our local schools in any way they can,” Chip Wile, President of Daytona International Speedway, said in a press release. “We are unique in that we can comfortably accommodate these schools and provide an unforgettable experience for these graduates. We are honored to host these graduates and their families for this special occasion.”

Pocono will host North Pocono School District’s graduation ceremony on Friday, June 12.

Family and loved ones attending the event will watch from inside their personal vehicles on the racetrack. The ceremony will be broadcast via Pocono Raceway’s internal FM radio station and on the track’s double-sided video boards. As names will be read by Principal Ron Collins, graduates’ photos will be displayed on the video boards and students will be called to drive across the Pocono Raceway start/finish line. Graduating seniors and their loved ones will be encouraged to decorate their cars in celebration of all their high school accomplishments. Guests will be permitted to attend in their vehicles or to watch the streamed graduation live on North Pocono School District’s Facebook page.

Phoenix Raceway will host Buckeye Union High School District graduates May 16. More than 1,000 graduates, inside vehicles with family members, will take to the 1-mile oval. Led by Toyota Camry pace cars, graduates will hear their names aloud on the track’s public address system as they cross the start/finish line.

“During these unprecedented times with large gatherings such as traditional high school graduations in doubt, our facility has the unique ability to provide a fun twist while safely holding an event like this,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese. “I’m proud that we can utilize Phoenix Raceway to celebrate the accomplishments of the young men and women in our community and be part of such a memorable day.”