Sports leagues around the country are beginning to look forward towards a potential return, and are going through various planning stages and contingencies for possibly resuming seasons this summer.
While the NBA discusses the possibility of a bubble league at Walt Disney World, NASCAR is set to be the first major sports league to return to action, as they announced plans to run seven races — including four Cup series races — over the course of 11 days in late May. All seven races will take place at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, keeping the teams all confined to the Carolinas for now and limiting the travel needed to make this happen.
The Cup series races will take place on Sundays and Wednesdays, with the first race a 400-mile event at Darlington on Sunday, May 17, followed by a 500 kilometer race on Wednesday, May 20. The Coca-Cola 600 will be next up on Sunday, May 24, followed by a 500 kilometer race on Wednesday, May 27. There will also be two Xfinity series races, one at each track, and one truck series race at Charlotte to round out this preliminary schedule. Sunday races will be on Fox, while the others will all be broadcast on FS1.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 30, 2020
How this experiment goes will be watched closely by other leagues, who will want to see how successful this kind of sporting event can be and they will be watching over the weeks to follow to see if it was able to be safely done. The risk in this is that while the drivers are secluded to their cars, they each have large pit crews that work close together and in tight proximity. If it works and there are no COVID-19 outbreaks inside those crews, other sports leagues will surely look to NASCAR’s plans and try to mimic them however possible to launch summer returns to action.