In light of the most recent recommendations by the US Center of Disease Control that no gatherings of 50 or more people take place for the next eight weeks, NASCAR announced Monday evening that it would postpone all race events through May 3. The decision also includes NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and ARCA Menards Series events.
“The health and safety of our fans, industry and the communities in which we race is our most important priority, so in accordance with recent CDC guidance, NASCAR is currently postponing all race events through May 3rd, with plans to return racing in Martinsville," read NASCAR's statement. "We appreciate the patience of our fans and we look forward to returning to the racetrack. We intend to hold all 36 races this season, with future rescheduling soon to be determined as we continue to monitor this situation closely with public health officials and medical experts. What is important now transcends the world of sports and our focus is on everyone’s safety and well-being as we navigate this challenging time together.”
ARCA released a separate statement, which read, "Our top priority is the health and safety of our fans, competitors and racing communities. In conjunction with NASCAR, all ARCA Means Series race events - including the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West - are postponed through May 3. We will share future rescheduling information as it is determined."
It was also confirmed on social media that the decision included NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events. The first two races of the season, at South Boston Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, had already been postponed, with the third race of the season at Stafford Motor Speedway in jeopardy following an executive order from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont banning large gatherings in the state.
The ARCA postponements encompass the ARCA Menards Series West event at Irwindale Speedway on March 28, the ARCA Menards Series East events at Bristol Motor Speedway and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, and the ARCA Menards Series race at Salem Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
Currently, NASCAR plans to return to action with the May weekend at Martinsville Speedway (VA), which would include the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's return to the half-mile on May 8.
Tentatively, the ARCA Menards Series West will return to action May 9 at Tucson Speedway. ARCA Menards Series East would next compete at Toledo Speedway on May 16, with the next ARCA Menards Series event scheduled for May 22 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Stay tuned to Speed51 for continued updates on the coronavirus' impact on short track racing.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo