Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
NASCAR announced its plan to bring back spectators to races, beginning with the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.
The 2020 season returned in May after a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the first six races have taken place in empty stadiums.
This will change Sunday with 1,000 South Florida military service members invited to be the first guests in attendance. There will be up to 5,000 guests allowed to attend the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on June 21.
NASCAR executive vice president Daryl Wolfe broke down the changes:
“We have tremendous respect and appreciation for the responsibility that comes with integrating guests back into our events. We believe implementing this methodical process is an important step forward for the sport and the future of live sporting events. The passion and unwavering support of our industry and fans is the reason we race each weekend and we look forward to slowly and responsibly welcoming them back at select events.”
All guests will be screened before entering and required to wear masks while maintaining a distance of six feet from others.
Talladega Superspeedway is also set to allow limited motorhome/5th-wheel camping spots outside the track.
NASCAR will evaluate the effectiveness of these races before expanding fan attendance for future events.
After the Geico 500, the schedule will feature back-to-back competitions at Pocono Raceway on June 27-28, followed by a trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 5. Indianapolis has a capacity of more than 200,000 people, but it’s unlikely officials will be able to fill the stadium given safety precautions related to the pandemic.