FWBP Staff, Associated Press
“Gentlemen start your engines!” Even without fans in the stands.
Gov. Greg Abbott is joining some other leaders in calling for a return to NASCAR racing.
Like other, sports, NASCAR’s schedule has been upended by the coronavirus. NASCAR said Friday it hopes to resume racing at some point in May without fans in the stands.
Eddie Gossage, president & general manager, Texas Motor Speedway, responded to the reports: “Texas Governor Greg Abbott has given NASCAR the green flag to race, and our sport is eager to get back on track. Texas Motor Speedway will work aggressively with the sanctioning bodies and TV networks to give American society, as well as people around the world, a positive distraction during this crisis. A non-spectator event is not perfect because in our sport, the fans come first. But circumstances are such that this is a novel answer for the return of the sport for now. We are now working on a hard date.
“Our sport is unique because the competitors are inside the race cars with no body-to-body contact like most other sports. That is a distinct advantage over other sports and why you will likely see auto racing as the first live sport returning to action. “
Five Republican state senators are asking North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to allow NASCAR races — without fans — next month at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In a normal year, NASCAR would run the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte track over Memorial Day weekend.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he hopes NASCAR can race next month at one of the state’s tracks, again without fans.
On April 19, senators Kathy Harrington, Paul Newton, Todd Johnson, Vickie Sawyer and Carl Ford said allowing a race at Charlotte would require the governor to amend his executive order.
Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said April 19 that “Governor Cooper knows the importance of NASCAR to our state and he’s already been talking with track and team owners about how we could potentially restart racing. It’s too soon to predict specific decisions about future sporting events but any plan would prioritize public health and safety and preventing spread of the virus.”