NASCAR Could Fine Racing Team Members $50K for COVID-19 Safety Rules

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

AVONDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 06: A general view of the NASCAR Cup Series logo during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 06, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

NASCAR updated its rule book Wednesday to include a potential $50,000 fine for any driver or team member who violates COVID-19 safety protocols when the Cup Series resumes its 2020 season May 17.

Kelly Crandall of Racer reported NASCAR has mandated everyone to wear personal protective equipment and following social distancing guidelines in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. All people who enter the track will also be subject to a health screening.

The Cup Series has been on hold since the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 8. It will restart with back-to-back races at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on May 17 and May 20.

Fans will not be allowed in attendance, so NASCAR plans to use the extra space on the infield to create more distance between the teams, per Crandall.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps said on the Dale Jr. Download podcast (via Dustin Long of NBC Sports) the condensed schedule with midweek races and fewer alternative live sports options will help expand racing's reach.

"I think we're going to have millions of fans that will tune in who otherwise wouldn't that are going to see how great our sport is," Phelps said. "I think we'll have a potential (number of) lifetime fans that will come out of this really difficult situation that we're experiencing."

Kevin Harvick held a one-point lead over Joey Logano in the Cup Series standings when the season was halted. Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time champion who announced 2020 would be his final full-time season, rounded out the top five.

After the two races at Darlington, NASCAR will head to Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina for races on May 24 and May 27.