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NASCAR intends to run all 36 Cup Series races

Jeff Birchfield • Mar 17, 2020 at 5:30 PM

One day after NASCAR announced the postponement of all events through May 3, its president reiterated that the sanctioning body is committed to running the remainder of the 36 Cup Series races and the All-Star event this season.

Steve Phelps said NASCAR is looking at several rescheduling options for the seven postponed races, including the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. On the table are midweek races and doubleheader weekends.

“We're looking broadly about what our options are,” Phelps said during a Tuesday teleconference. “We would like to finish the season at Phoenix and keep the playoff portion intact. With that said, it will require a lot of different opportunities for us to look at. We're in the process of doing that.

“No specifics around midweek races. I’ve heard about doubleheaders, different things, a lot of things on the table for us to look at, working with our race teams, our racetracks to make sure the things that we're putting on the table are feasible for us to do.”

Phelps added that the concentration is on getting back to racing at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway on May 8-9. Officials are working on alternate plans if not able to resume at that time.

Phelps said his wish is that postponed races would be held before the playoffs begin, meaning the Food City 500 would not be run as part of a doubleheader weekend with the September Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.

However, he added, the sport will adapt as variables change.

He didn’t offer any specifics about whether NASCAR will be providing monetary help to race teams whose shops are closed or working with skeleton crews at the moment.

“I think what I would say there are no specifics around subsidies or anything of that nature,” Phelps said. “We are working with our teams closely to have them, industry-wide, make sure we are all financially viable moving forward during this postponement of our races.”

Last week, NASCAR unveiled plans to race at Homestead-Miami and Atlanta in front of empty grandstands. The postponement of the season came a day later.

“Would we consider racing without fans at some point to get back racing more quickly without fans? That's in the consideration set. I don't know,” Phelps said. “We're working with a number of infectious disease professionals that are going to help us through what that looks like and whether it makes sense for us to race without fans or have our first race be back with fans.

“We have a commitment to our fans, all our competitors, to the stakeholders broadly that we're going to run all the races. We are going to do everything in our power to get these races in. If there are other variables that happen that would suggest we can't do that, we'll look at those at that time.”

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