US stock car racing series Nascar has announced it is moving its annual All-Star Race to Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee, in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The July 15 race has been switched from Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, for just the second time in the history of the race. It was originally scheduled for May 16.
Fans will be allowed in Bristol and, in according with state laws, Nascar will be permitted to admit up to 30,000 spectators at the racetrack, which has a capacity of 155,000. This would be by far the biggest crowd to attend a sporting event in North America since the coronavirus-enforced shutdown in mid-March.
Nascar welcomed 1,000 spectators at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the weekend, while up to 5,000 fans will be allowed to attend the Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama this weekend.
“Our passion is to entertain people, and we’re going to be able to entertain fans at Bristol Motor Speedway,” Speedway Motorsports president and chief executive Marcus Smith told Fox Sports program Nascar Race Hub.
“This will be the biggest event with spectators…really since the (Covid-19) pandemic started. The state of Tennessee has given us approval to host up to 30,000 Nascar fans at this year’s Nascar All-Star Race. We are thrilled and for us, it’s all about us bringing fun and building memories that last a life time, and we think you can do it at Bristol,” Smith said.