NASCAR Alabama race to run with 5,000 fans



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NASCAR back with fans June 2020 Image: Talladega Superspeedway

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced on Tuesday that up to 5,000 guests will be permitted for the June 21 Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in US.

The Talladega Superspeedway is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama, in US. It sits on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln.

The track also announced that there will be limited motorhome camping spots available outside the track along the backstretch. Tickets will be available exclusively on a first-come, first-served basis for fans who purchased tickets or reserved camping for the event, which was previously scheduled for April 26.

While grandstand tickets are $40 each, tower tickets will be $50 each. No special pricing facility is available for kids aged 12 years and below for the Cup race. A maximum of six seats grouped together will be allowed. To make certain that social distancing rules are being followed, the track will automatically block sale of seats to ensure proper spacing. All tickets will be delivered via Tickets @ Home which will facilitate fans to show their tickets on their cellphones and will also enable non-contact entry at the gates or the ability to print tickets at home.

Daryl Wolfe, NASCAR Executive Vice-President, Chief Operations and Sales Officer, informed that the 5,000-person limit at Talladega was a combination of “what do we feel like is the right stair-step approach” the percent of capacity and consultation with local public officials and medical experts and “what they were comfortable with as well”.

Wolfe added, “You mix all that together, assess what the right approach is and that’s the number we landed on.”

A 2018 annual report by the International Speedway Corp., mentions that Talladega Superspeedway enjoys a seating capacity of 78,000. This means that a crowd of 5,000 would come to less than seven percent of the capacity. The Talladega race follows the Miami Cup race to be held on June 14, which will allow up to 1,000 people in the stands.

Guests will have to maintain social distancing of six feet. Face covering is must for all spectators aged three and above. Before entering the event gates, each spectator will be screened. Initial screening will include questions regarding present health status and potential exposure, as well as a non-contact temperature check. Spectators will also be required to complete a waiver process.

Tailgating before or after the event is not permitted on the track property and the supporters will be directed to specific parking lots. To minimize large gathering of people at one spot, the ingress/egress procedure into the facility through the gates will be a sequenced one. More information will be available soon on specific times and entry locations for spectators. Entry and exit to the grandstands, along with routes to concession stands and restrooms via the front stretch concourse will come with strict social distancing guidelines. Coolers or ice packs of any type will not be allowed inside the entry gates. Once in grandstands, fans will not be allowed to exit the property and then again enter. Fans will not be allowed in the infield.

The track will boast multiple concessions stands open with the facility of grab-n-go pre-packaged items for $2 to $5 each. Those items include sandwiches, salads, chips, candy, snacks, soft drinks and beer. All transactions will be in the cashless mode.

The track authorities stated that concessions and restrooms will maintain physical distancing and frequent cleaning will be carried out across high touch locations.

There will be no fans for the Xfinity race to be held at Talladega on June 20.

Upcoming NASCAR races

Miami-Dade County has given Homestead-Miami Speedway the go-ahead to host up to 1,000 military personnel, first responders and their household members to the June 13-14 Cup race there. Those permitted would not be charged and will be allowed only in the grandstands.

Homestead–Miami Speedway is a motor racing track located in Homestead, Florida, in US.

Before entering the Speedway, they will be required to undergo a health screening, wear a cloth mask and follow other social distancing guidelines. They’ll be the first fans to sit in the stands for a NASCAR race. Few fans attended the Charlotte races last month but they were in the condos outside Turn 1 and were not allowed in the stands.

Tracks have announced that the other upcoming NASCAR races will be held sans fans. The races will be held at Pocono (hosting NASCAR races June 26-28), Indianapolis (July 4-5) and Kentucky (July 9-12).

The Charlotte Motor Speedway authorities are still not sure whether fans will be allowed to grace their July 15 All-Star Race. They are still in talks with State and local health officials on allowing fans for the event but no decision has been taken in this regard as yet.

Texas Motor Speedway, which will host NASCAR races on July 18-19, has stated that it is working with the State and local officials to determine the size and scope of fans who will be able to attend those races.

However, the races to be held from July 23-25 at Kansas Speedway will run without spectators. Nevertheless, track officials are still consulting State and local officials to determine if fans could attend the event.

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which will stage a Cup race on August 2, said that a clear picture has still not emerged if fans will be allowed at the events.

In IndyCar, Roger Penske, whose company bought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, told mediapersons that “we are going to run (the Indianapolis 500) with fans.” If the August 23 race on NBC can’t be held with spectators, then the event would move to October.

NASCAR has not announced its revised schedule beyond August 2.

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