NASCAR aims for May 17 return at Darlington, midweek races

NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch leads Joey Logano during practice for the Bluegreen Vacations 500 in this file photo on Nov. 8, 2019, at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

NASCAR sent teams a schedule for the next two months that starts with a return to racing on May 17 at Darlington, S.C., Autoweek reported on Tuesday, April 28.

The race would be one of five in May and among four held near most of the NASCAR team's home bases to restart the 2020 schedule.

NASCAR officials said in March when the season was suspended that their goal would be to complete the season. Initial thoughts focused on getting the season rolling in Texas with one or two events.

South Carolina has relaxed coronavirus restrictions and Charlotte, N.C., is following suit. Charlotte will host the third and fourth races after the return to racing.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the state plans to put on the Coca-Cola 600 for the 60th consecutive year unless the coronavirus pandemic should worsen.


"We believe that unless health conditions go down, we believe we can hold the Coca-Cola 600," Cooper said.

It is expected NASCAR initially will operate without live pit stops, reducing the number of team pit crew members by at least five. The exact number of team personnel and officials deemed essential has not been decided.

The schedule obtained by Autoweek is as follows:

Sun., May 17: Darlington 400

Wed., May 20: Darlington 310

Sun., May 24: Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

Wed., May 27: Charlotte 310

Sun., May 31: Martinsville


Wed., June 3: Bristol

Sun., June 7: Atlanta

Sun., June 14: Miami

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