PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — One week from today we will welcome back one of the top sports leagues in the United States.
NASCAR is officially returning next Sunday, kicking off a slate of races including seven events in three racing series. All of those races will happen at either Darlington Raceway or Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR Cup Series makes its return at Darlington, the first on track event since the middle of March. Each of NASCAR’s return events will be run without fans in attendance. NASCAR has set up specific rules for each team to honor to make sure that the safety of everyone is at the forefront of getting back on the track.
Here’s a quick look at some of the guidelines nascar has set up for COVID-19 safety:
- Only essential personnel is allowed at the races, each team is limited to 16 people per car roster.
- There will be health screens, including temperature checks when members enter and exit the track.
- Cloth masks must be worn on pit road and general social distancing rules are to be followed at all times.
- NASCAR can fine team members up to $50,000 for breaking these safety rules.
One area mechanic is excited to get back on the road and working in racing. Alex timmerman of Peoria is a crew member for JD Motorsports on the NASCAR Xfinity series.
Timmerman is a road crew member for the #15 car in the Xfinity series. He hasn’t worked a race since the end of Febuary in Las Vegas. Timmerman will work the first Xfinity series race at Darlington on May 19.
“I’m on the road crew so I live in central illinois and I travel out on the weekends to the races. It’s constant, it’s non stop. And we’re going to be doing multiple races a week,” Timmerman said. “And especially for smaller teams, when you only have so many resources available, we’re going to be working two to three times as hard just to be able to bring a car to the track and make sure we’re somewhat competitive.”
With NASCAR being one of the first sports to come back to action, Alex believes there will be a lot of excitement from fans when racing returns. And he feels more than comfortable going back to the pits with the safety guidelines NASCAR has put in place.
“With NASCAR coming back, people will have something to watch, and hopefully that will actually help regenerate NASCAR and the fans and bring back some livelyhood to it,” Timmerman added. “I’ll personally feel comfortable, NASCAR has implemented some COVID-19 restrictions in the garage area. But yeah, NASCAR will take the appropriate precautions for everybody.”