NASCAR re­turns to Dar­ling­ton with 3 races over 4 days

The State - - Sports - BY LOU BEZJAK lbez­jak@thes­tate.com

NASCAR an­nounced Thurs­day its sched­ule for re­turn­ing to rac­ing.

Dar­ling­ton Race­way will host two Cup events and one Xfin­ity race in a four-day span from May 17-20.

Here are five things to know about rac­ing at Dar­ling­ton for those days:

WILL THE RACES BE TELE­VISED?

Yes. The Cup race on May 17 will be on Fox at 3:30 p.m. The Xfin­ity race on May 19 and Cup race on May 20 will be on FS1. The Xfin­ity race is at 8 p.m., and the Cup race starts at 7:30 p.m.

The races also will be car­ried on the ra­dio on Mo­tor Rac­ing Net­work and Sir­iusXM NASCAR Ra­dio.

WILL FANS BE AL­LOWED TO AT­TEND?

There will be no spec­ta­tors al­lowed at the Dar­ling­ton races (or any of NASCAR’s May races). Dar­ling­ton Race­way pres­i­dent Kerry Tharp said Thurs­day that he is hope­ful fans will be al­lowed to at­tend the South­ern 500 at the track Sept. 6, but no one is sure how that will look if so­cial dis­tanc­ing rules re­main in ef­fect. For now, the South­ern 500 still is ex­pected to be the first race of the Cup Se­ries play­offs.

Dar­ling­ton Race­way also said it will not per­mit any type of

camp­ing or tail­gat­ing on the prop­erty dur­ing th­ese races.

“That is go­ing to be un­usual to race here at Dar­ling­ton with­out the stands or in­field packed. Now isn’t the time for that,” Tharp said.

WILL THERE BE PRAC­TICE AND QUAL­I­FY­ING BE­FORE THE RACE?

Teams can’t prac­tice be­fore the Dar­ling­ton races, and the Coca-Cola 600 in Char­lotte on May 24 will be the only race in May with qual­i­fy­ing. The first Dar­ling­ton Cup race or­der will be set on Cup Se­ries point stand­ings.

Af­ter the first race, NASCAR ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Steve O’Don­nell said there will be some things they will do to mix it up to de­ter­mine race lineup and pit se­lec­tion.

WILL NASCAR TEST FOR THE CORO­N­AVIRUS OR DO AN­TI­BODY TEST­ING?

No. NASCAR vice pres­i­dent for rac­ing op­er­a­tions John Bobo said Thurs­day they are ask­ing par­tic­i­pants and or­ga­ni­za­tions to self-mon­i­tor peo­ple for five days for symp­toms be­fore they ar­rive at the track. Once ar­riv­ing at track, peo­ple’s tem­per­a­tures will be taken ran­domly as needed. Symp­to­matic pa­tients will be pro­cessed and re­moved from the event and given med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

If a driver or crew mem­ber is symp­to­matic, they won’t be al­lowed to par­tic­i­pate and must self-iso­late for 14 days. NASCAR will have to grant a driver a waiver so he can still qual­ify for the play­offs de­spite miss­ing a race.

WILL THERE BE A VIC­TORY LANE CEL­E­BRA­TION FOR THE WIN­NING DRIVER?

That part is unclear right now. O’Don­nell said there are plans to have a cel­e­bra­tion around the start/fin­ish line, but NASCAR is un­sure if there will be a tra­di­tional Vic­tory Lane cel­e­bra­tion.

“We cer­tainly want to try and have a tro­phy, at least that cel­e­bra­tion with the driver,” O’Don­nell said.

NEW NASCAR SCHED­ULE

Sun­day, May 17, Cup Se­ries

3:30 p.m., at Dar­ling­ton Race­way (400 miles)

TV: FOX

Tues­day, May 19, Xfin­ity Se­ries

8 p.m., at Dar­ling­ton Race­way (200 miles)

TV: FS1

Wed­nes­day, May 20, Cup Se­ries

7:30 p.m., at Dar­ling­ton Race­way (500 kilo­me­ters)

TV: FS1

Sun­day, May 24, Cup Se­ries

6 p.m., at Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way (600 miles)

TV: FOX

Mon­day, May 25, Xfin­ity Se­ries

7:30 p.m., at Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way (300 miles)

TV: FS1

Tues­day, May 26, Gan­der Trucks

8 p.m., at Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way (200 miles)

TV: FS1

Wed­nes­day, May 27, Cup Se­ries

8 p.m., at Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way (500 kilo­me­ters)

TV: FS1

THE STATE File photo

The South­ern 500 will still run in Septem­ber at Dar­ling­ton Race­way.

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