NASCAR to Continue Races at Atlanta, Miami Without Fans Despite Coronavirus

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

Martin Truex Jr. (19) leads the field through Turn 4 on a restart during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix Raceway, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
Ralph Freso/Associated Press

NASCAR announced Thursday that it will race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway the next two weeks without any fans in attendance:

Several major sports have suspended operations amid the coronavirus outbreak, including the NBA and NHL, plus every Power 5 conference canceled its men's basketball conference tournament Thursday.

Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Truck Series events are scheduled for Atlanta and Miami, but only drivers, pit crew members and necessary personnel will be present.

This weekend in Atlanta, qualifying for the Cup Series race is scheduled for Saturday, as are the Xfinity and Truck Series races. The NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is set to be run Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

Also, the NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 is expected to emanate from Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 22 at 2 p.m. ET.

The 2020 NASCAR season is just four races old, and Joey Logano leads the way with two wins, while Kevin Harvick is the points leader with 164 despite no victories.

Per CNN, there are now more than 124,000 known cases of COVID-19 worldwide, contributing to more than 4,600 deaths. CNN is also reporting that there are 1,267 known coronavirus cases in the United States and 38 deaths.

With the NBA, NHL and MLS suspending play, NASCAR is one of the only major professional sports leagues still planning to move forward with events, along with the XFL.

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