While South Florida’s professional sports teams - the Florida Panthers, Inter Miami CF, Miami Heat and Miami Marlins - still wait to find out when they will be able to restart their 2020 seasons amid the coronavirus pandemic, the area may see the return of professional sports thanks to NASCAR in the next month.
An official from Homestead Miami Speedway told NBC6.com that the sport could announce its next set of scheduled races by the end of this week, a slate of events that is likely to include the sport’s return to South Florida by June 14th.
Last Thursday, NASCAR announced it would hold four races for its top series over an 11-day span starting May 17th. The first two races will take place in Darlington, South Carolina with the next two races being held in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“NASCAR and its teams are eager and excited to return to racing, and have great respect for the responsibility that comes with a return to competition,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said in a statement.
NASCAR will not allow fans to be present for at least the next four scheduled races while following social distancing protocols set forth by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in helping to prevent any potential spread of the virus.
“NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community,” O’Donnell said.
Homestead was scheduled to host the Dixie Vodka 400 on March 21st - the first time the race was set to be run in the spring after 18 consecutive seasons as NASCAR’s finale. Officials were set to hold the race on that date without fans before deciding to postpone the race, one of eight races that have been postponed as of this past weekend.
NASCAR officials have not said if any racetracks will not hold their scheduled races.