By JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — It will be a summer in the South for NASCAR: The stock car series announced Thursday it will stick to Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Florida and Alabama for June races — all of them without fans.
NASCAR has now set plans for 20 races — including nine in the elite Cup Series — as it returns to the tracks after being shut down for more than two months by concerns about the coronavirus.
The Cup Series is scheduled to resume this Sunday at Darlington Raceway and run four times in 11 days at the South Carolina track and at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.
Then NASCAR will go to Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee on May 31. The track is roughly three hours’ driving distance for most of the Charlotte-area based teams. Some drivers could fly privately to the track via helicopter.
NASCAR will then race at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Truck Series and Xfinity Series on June 6 and the Cup Series on June 7. The track in Hampton, Georgia, is at least a four-hour drive and teams could need hotels.
The Cup Series will race for a third time on a Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on June 10.
Then all three national series will run together and require air travel with two full days at Homestead-Miami Speedway in South Florida. The Truck Series and Xfinity Series will race June 13, then the Xfinity Series will run again on June 14 in a warm-up for the Cup Series.
NASCAR will then go to to Talladega Superspeedway with the ARCA Series and the Xfinity Series racing June 20 and Cup on June 21. The teams can drive to the Alabama speedway but many might use hotels.
“We, like so many passionate race fans, are thrilled to have NASCAR racing again at Talladega Superspeedway,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Brian Crichton. ” A special thank you to Governor Ivey and other state leadership in working with NASCAR to allow these events in Alabama. We also have tremendous appreciation and respect for medical personnel, first responders, frontline and essential workers who have been so dedicated during this time.
“While fans will not be permitted to attend the events, we encourage everyone to tune into FOX, FS1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to catch all the action that makes Talladega one of a kind.”
NASCAR postponed events at Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio and the Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway scheduled for June 13 has been moved to Homestead on June 14.