NASCAR Set for Resumption at Darlington Raceway Featured

NASCAR Set for Resumption at Darlington Raceway Getty Images for NASCAR

NASCAR will become one of the first professional sports across North America to resume action following a two-month hiatus because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The first event, closed off to fans and other non-essential personal, will take place at 3:30 p.m. ET. live on FOX from the Darlington Raceway.

Two days later, on Tuesday, May 19th, the NASCAR XFINITY Series will resume with a 200-mile event also at Darlington Raceway. That event will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET live on FOX Sports 1. The day following, on May 20th from Darlington at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1, the cup series will hit the track for a second time at the famed oval.

The sanctioning body will then head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for several events as well beginning with the historic Coca-Cola 600 cup series race on Sunday, May 24th at 6:00 p.m. ET. on FOX. The NASCAR XFINITY Series will race the following day at 7:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1.

On May 26th, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will resume action at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Tuesday night feature will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET. and air live on FOX Sports 1. The truck series last hit the track on February 21st at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The cup series will cap off these scheduled events thus far at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday, May 27th at 8:00 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1.

Except for the Coca-Cola 600, where qualifying will take place, there will be no practices or qualifying held. In addition, no fans will be allowed to attend the noted above races.

NASCAR will expand the field size in XFINITY from 36 to 40 and from 32 to 40 in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series for events in which qualifying will not take place. Race winners will still receive 40 points for a win while the 36th-place finisher in the NXS will get one point. 37th to 40th will also take home one point. 32nd to 40th place finishers in trucks will get five points. The NASCAR Cup Series field will remain at 40 entries.

With essential personal only allowed, NASCAR will require several restrictions to drivers and team members for these events. The restrictions include masks and social distancing as well as required temperature checks when entering the premises.

NASCAR issued a rule bulletin last week outlining possible penalties if an individual fails to comply with NASCAR’s COVID-19 protocols. In the cup series the fine can range from $10,000 to $50,000. Over in the NASCAR XFINITY Series it can range from $5,000 to $25,000 and $2,500 to $12,500 in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

The NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series were last on-track at Phoenix Raceway in March. Joey Logano scored his second win in 2020 after leading the field for 60 laps. Brandon Jones took the checkered flag the last time out in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at the one-mile Arizona oval. The win marked his second career trip to victory lane.

Kyle Busch visited victory lane the last time out for the truck series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Vegas native led the field for 108 laps in the second event of 2020. Grant Enfinger won the season opener a week earlier at Daytona International Speedway.

Top five in cup series standings going into Darlington this week: Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson.

Top five in XFINITY Series standings through four races include: Harrison Burton, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones and Ross Chastain.

Top five in Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series standings with two races complete: Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes, Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed.

NASCAR has yet announced its plans for racing beyond the month of May.

NASCAR on Tuesday sent out a competition update regarding how lineups and pit stalls will be determined for these events. You can read all the details from that announcement below:

Pit Selection and Starting Lineup:

Darlington

May 17 (NASCAR Cup Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on charter team owner points followed by open team owner points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1-12: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 13-24: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 25-36: Random draw from charter teams in those positions in owner points
  • Positions 37-40: Open teams in order of owners points in owner points

 

May 19 (NASCAR Xfinity Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on Phoenix qualifying.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1 -12:  The first 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 12th using a random draw.
  • Positions 12 – 24:  The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 12th- 24th using a random draw. 
  • Starting positions 25 – 36: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 25th -36th using a random draw. 
  • Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 37th – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.

 

 

May 20 (NASCAR Cup Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on finishing position from the May 17th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1-20: Invert the top 20 from the May 17th race at Darlington
  • Positions 21-40: In finishing order from the May 17th race at Darlington, followed by new entries

 

Charlotte

May 24 (NASCAR Cup Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on finishing position from the May 20th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Based on qualifying

 

May 25 (NASCAR Xfinity Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on finishing position from the May 19th race at Darlington, followed by new entries in order of points.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Same procedure as Darlington

 

May 26 (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on Las Vegas qualifying.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1 -10:  The first 10 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 10th using a random draw.
  • Positions 11 – 21:  The next 11 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 11- 21 using a random draw. 
  • positions 22 – 32: The next 11 NGROTS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 22nd – 32nd  using a random draw. 
  • Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 33rd – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.

 

May 27 (NASCAR Cup Series)

Pit selection:

  • Order based on qualifying for the May 24th race at Charlotte, followed by new entries in order of points. If qualifying is rained out, pit selection will be determined by finishing order on May 24. Pit stalls will be picked in advance and the pit boxes will be in the stalls when the teams arrive.

 

Starting lineup:

  • Positions 1-20: Invert the top 20 from the May 24th race at Charlotte
  • Positions 21-40: In finishing order from the May 24th race at Charlotte, followed by new entries

 

Modified Competition Caution Procedures:

With the absence of practice, NASCAR will be modifying its Competition Caution procedures to allow teams additional time for adjustments.

 

The competition cautions will occur at or around the following laps:

  • NASCAR Cup Series
    • Darlington – May 17: Lap 30
    • Darlington – May 20: TBD
    • Charlotte – May 24: TBD
    • Charlotte – May 27: TBD
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series
    • Darlington – May 19: Lap 15
    • Charlotte – May 25: TBD
  • NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Charlotte – May 26: TBD

 

Below are the procedures for the modified competition caution:

  • Field will be frozen at the time of the competition caution
  • Field will be assembled behind the pace car
  • The running order lead lap / lap down will be established and the free pass sent
  • Wave around rule is not in effect
  • Pit road will open to the top 20 – car must beat the pace car off pit road to retain freeze position
  • Pit road will open to the next 20 – car must beat the pace car off pit road to retain freeze position
  • Above pit cycle repeats – each team allowed to pit two times
  • Re-establish line-up per freeze and restart race

 

Infractions under modified competition caution:

  • Not beating the pace car off pit road results in loss of lap and restarting at tail of the field
  • Pitting more than twice or out of sequence results in restarting at the tail of the field
  • All current pit road rules are in effect



May 11, 2020

Updated on Xfinity Series and Gander Trucks Field Size for Darlington and Charlotte:

For Xfinity Series and Gander Trucks races for which there is no qualifying scheduled to give teams the opportunity to earn their position in the starting lineup, the field size will be expanded to a maximum of 40 participants in each series to allow additional opportunities for teams to race.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

  • Maximum of 40 (up four positions from 36)
  • Currently 36th finishing position receives one point
  • Under expanded field size, 36th to the balance of the field will be awarded one point
  •  Note: Post entries will not be eligible for the event.

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

  • Maximum of 40 (up eight positions from 32)
  • Currently 32nd finishing position receives five points
  • Under expanded field size, 32nd to the balance of the field will be awarded five points
  • Note: Post entries will not be eligible for the event.

Below is a statement from NASCAR, attributed to Scott Miller – NASCAR Senior Vice President, Competition:

 

"This move is critical for the long-term health of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. There are many new full-time and part-time team owners who have made significant commitments to our sport and secured sponsorship to participate this season. NASCAR wants to enable these teams to fulfill their commitments and grow their businesses without being affected by circumstances out of their control."

May 8, 2020

Darlington & Charlotte Stage Lengths:


Darlington

May 17 (NASCAR Cup Series): 90 / 185 / 293 laps

May 19 (NASCAR Xfinity Series): 45 / 90 / 147 laps

May 20 (NASCAR Cup Series): 60 / 125 / 228 laps

 

Charlotte

May 24 (NASCAR Cup Series): 100 / 200 / 300 / 400 laps

May 25 (NASCAR Xfinity Series): 45 / 90 / 200 laps

May 26 (NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series): 30 / 60 / 134 laps

May 27 (NASCAR Cup Series): 55 / 115 / 208 laps

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.