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Nascar moves race from Watkins Glen due to New York state Covid-19 restrictions

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US stock car racing series Nascar is moving a scheduled road race from Watkins Glen International to Daytona International Speedway in August because of Covid-19 health and safety restrictions in New York state.

New York currently mandates a 14-day quarantine for those visiting from various states which have experienced spikes in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. This includes North Carolina, where the majority of Nascar teams are based.

The move means Nascar’s elite Cup Series will make its debut on Daytona’s road course in Florida, with the race set for the weekend of August 14-16. It also means that Watkins Glen will drop off the Nascar schedule for the first time since 1985.

“This is an unprecedented time in the history of our nation and Watkins Glen International,” WGI president Michael Printup said. “The dynamic situation we are all confronting is impacting our daily lives and activities in unimaginable ways.

“While we are disappointed we will not experience Nascar in New York this year, as we look broadly at the current pandemic in our country and around the world, we must focus first on everyone’s safety and well-being as Nascar seeks the best way to continue delivering a remarkable on-track product week after week,” Printup said.

In Nascar’s latest release of races through August, the Cup Series schedule includes doubleheaders at Michigan International Speedway (August 8-9) and Dover International Speedway (August 22–23), as well as two visits to Daytona International Speedway.

Nascar recently called off its Champion’s Week and Cup Series Awards, which were scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee, in early December, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.