North Carolina governor confirms possible NASCAR return for Memorial Day weekend

nascarNASCAR could be set to return to the track as soon as May 17 with a race at Darlington, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed Tuesday that he expects the Coca-Cola 600 to go off as scheduled in Charlotte on Memorial Day weekend.

ESPN reported that NASCAR has sent a schedule to race teams that includes six races beginning in mid-May, with the goal of scheduling more races in locations in the proximity of the Charlotte area, including Bristol and Martinsville.

There had already been talk about getting on the track in Daytona and Homestead in Florida.

The biggie, at least initially, would be the Coca-Cola 600, which would be contested with no fans in attendance, according to information presented at a Tuesday presser with Cooper.

The ball got rolling toward the possible race date in Charlotte last week when Cooper announced that he had designated NASCAR race shops as an essential business, and that team members could return to work if they maintained social distancing guidelines and adhered to local government stay-at-home policies.

Many NASCAR teams have their headquarters in the Charlotte area, so that go-ahead from Cooper was key to getting things moving for the circuit as a whole.

“On behalf of our team at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I’d like to thank Gov. Cooper and all of our state and local government officials who are working with us to get NASCAR back on track with the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend where it belongs,” Speedway Motorsports president Marcus Smith said in a statement. “We’ll have more details to share soon in conjunction with NASCAR’s release of a revised event schedule.”

Story by Chris Graham

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