Sports Xtra: NASCAR leads major sports in return

Posted at 11:10 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 23:10:02-04

It's been a non-stop series of finding things to do. With Stewart-Haas driver Cole Custer making cold custard, or Xfinity Series teammate and Mitchell, Ind. native Chase Briscoe getting full use of his virtual racing rig.

There's light at the end of the tunnel for NASCAR. This weekend it's back to work — for real.

"It's been fun," Custer said. "I've got some home projects done, stuff like that but I'm just ready to get back to racing."

"Yeah, we're ready to go. It's been fun," Briscoe said. "It was really fun the first couple of week but, at least on my end, I'm getting burned out. I'm ready to go back and do the real thing."

It's about time.

NASCAR has set up a standard of safety. The drivers won't have any face-to-face interaction with officials or crewmen. They'll head to the cars 10 minutes before the race, climb in their cars and go.

No practice. No qualifying. They won't even arrive at the track until race day morning.

"What's going to be strange compared to normal is not having fans there," Custer said. "You don't get to see all of the fans in the stands and stuff like that."

"I feel like at the track, we'll be pretty safe," Briscoe said. "Even if you win, there's no high fives or hugging. We're all going to be doing everything we can because we all want to go back to racing as well."

It's also a part of a bigger picture for Tony Stewart's team. When the series stopped in March, the team quickly turned its attention to making web-cam carts for local doctors to use in intensive care units where remote monitoring of COVID-19 patients can be key.

"Obviously, we have a lot of fabricators, a lot of Haas-cnc machines so we can make just about anything," Custer said.

"Between that and we've been using race haulers to transport stuff because we can put so much stuff on them," Briscoe said.

A true road to recovery and NASCAR will begin it.

The eyes of the world will be on them.

"Yeah, I think so. We're the only sport, especially major sport that will be going on," Briscoe said.

"It's what we do for a living, it's what we dreamed to do as a kid so I think we always want to be in a race car but it's going to be stressful with no practice or qualifying but we'll make it happen," Custer said.

And fans, and maybe new ones, so many can't wait.