CHARLOTTE -- Professional basketball, baseball and hockey are on hold for now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, but a return to auto racing may not be far off.
According to an Associated Press report Tuesday, NASCAR is planning on two races at Darlington, South Carolina on May 17 and 20. And those events might be run without fans in the stands.
After those races, teams would head to Charlotte Motor Speedway. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the state and NASCAR, which is headquartered there, have come to an agreement to hold the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, without spectators. A second Charlotte race would follow on May 27.
“We believe that unless health conditions go down, we believe we can hold the Coca-Cola 600,” Cooper said. “I think NASCAR will be making that announcement, but that’s what will happen.”
North Carolina's stay-at-home order is in effect until May 8. Most NASCAR teams are headquartered in the Charlotte area.
If there are to be four races in May, what about the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the beginning of July?
IMS President Doug Boles recently expressed optimism that the Brickyard could happen as scheduled. Whether fans would be allowed inside he track has not been decided.
NASCAR had already staged four races this year when COVID-19 forced it to shut down.
The Associated Press contributed to this report