NASCAR set to allow fans back in Florida, Alabama

Kevin Harvick, third from left, celebrates with members of his crew after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Hampton, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Kevin Harvick, third from left, celebrates with members of his crew after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Hampton, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR is ready to reopen to fans.

One of the few sports to run in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, NASCAR is now the largest to allow fans to return as more states relax their business shutdowns.

NASCAR decided a limited number of fans can attend races this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR says all fans will be screened before entering, required to wear face coverings, mandated to social distance at six feet, and will not have access to the infield, among other revised operational protocols.

NASCAR will allow up to 1,000 Florida service members, representing the Homestead Air Reserve Base and U.S. Southern Command in Doral, to attend the Cup Series race Sunday as honorary guests and view the race from the grandstands.

Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama will allow up to 5,000 guests in the frontstretch grandstands/towers for the June 21 Cup race. There will be limited motorhome/camping spots available outside the track.

“It’s a cautious, conservative approach,” said Daryl Wolfe, NASCAR executive vice president and chief sales and operations officer. “We feel confident in our plan. Also it doesn’t mean that we won’t also have additional learnings and adapt our plan going forward. That’s the whole purpose of being very slow, methodical in phasing this in.”

NASCAR has returned to racing, but had not allowed fans inside the tracks in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

“We’re going to have a lot of hand sanitizing, hand washing,” said John Bobo, NASCAR vice president of racing operations. “One of the things that I’m kind of proud of to see is we’re going to have a clean team, a clean team that’s at track constantly cleaning everything very visibly for every guest that’s there to know we’re doing everything we can to keep them safe. We feel confident in the plan.”