RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper believes NASCAR will be able to hold the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as planned on May 24.
His comments came Tuesday during a press conference where he updated members of the media on the state’s battle against the COVID-19 virus.
The Coca-Cola 600 would be run without fans in the stands, but would be broadcast live on television. However, the governor indicated that the plans to race at Charlotte Motor Speedway depend heavily on the health situation in the state.
“We believe that unless health conditions go down, we believe we can hold the Coca-Cola 600,” Cooper said.
NASCAR officials have been working extensively to determine the best way to resume the season after postponing eight NASCAR Cup Series races since mid-March.
Multiple media outlets are reporting that NASCAR has distributed a potential schedule to race teams that includes a return to competition on May 17 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, a second Darlington race on May 20, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24 and a second race at the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval on May 27.
The season would then continue with events at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on May 31, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on June 3, Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., on June 7 and Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 14.
North Carolina is under a stay-at-home order through at least May 8, but Cooper declared team employees essential workers last week.
“On behalf of our team at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I’d like to thank Gov. Cooper and all of our state and local government officials who are working with us to get NASCAR back on track with the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend where it belongs,” said Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith. “We’ll have more details to share soon in conjunction with NASCAR’s release of a revised event schedule.”
NASCAR has not publicly announced plans to return to racing.