NASCAR Postpones Five More Races, Hopes To Return In May
The suspension of NASCAR’s '20 season will "continue at least through the May 3 race" at Dover Int'l Speedway in Delaware, as the "current plan is to resume racing the second weekend of May" at Martinsville Speedway, according to Ken Willis of the DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL. NASCAR’s official statement, released early last night, suggested the governing body "intends to run its entire slate of 36 Cup Series races this year, a desire that would require some unique scheduling through the summer and early fall." Last weekend’s Atlanta events and this coming weekend’s races at Homestead-Miami Speedway were the "initial scrubs, but Monday brought the official postponement of races at Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega and Dover" (DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL, 3/17).
NEXT BEST THING? In Charlotte, Alex Andrejev wrote NASCAR's iRacing Replacements 100 virtual race from Atlanta on Sunday "still allowed the NASCAR community to get their racing fix for the weekend." Former and current Cup Series drivers -- including Dale Earnhardt Jr., William Byron, Alex Bowman and Bubba Wallace -- "participated in a 37-driver field on the 1.5 mile-track." The "look and feel of the virtual race was similar to any broadcast you’d watch on television." The race was streamed on Twitch and "peaked at nearly 30,000 viewers roughly 15 minutes after its start." By the end of the race, that number had "dropped to an audience of nearly 23,000 viewers." The steaming and commentating was "high-quality, but the technical side is not perfect and a lot can depend on the PC a given driver is using." Drivers were each "allowed one 'reset' for the race, so they were able to continue with a new virtual car if they wrecked out" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/16). ESPN.com's Arda Ocal noted the virtual event "came together in two days as a way to keep racing fans engaged" (ESPN.com, 3/15).