NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the sanctioning body is looking broadly at options to reschedule its postponed races.
Phelps spoke with the media Tuesday afternoon about the “incredibly fluid process” NASCAR is going through due to COVID-19. But he once again reiterated that NASCAR plans to run all 36 points races as well as the non-points All-Star Race.
“At this particular point, we’d like to finish (the season) at Phoenix and keep the playoff portion intact,” said Phelps. “With that said, it will require a lot of different opportunities for us to look at, and we’re in the process of doing that.
“At this particular point, a lot of things on the table for us to look at, working with our race teams, working with our racetracks, to make sure that the things that we’re putting on the table are feasible for us to do.”
Seven NASCAR Cup Series races, six Xfinity Series races and five Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races have been postponed.
Asked why races were postponed and not canceled, Phelps said NASCAR has a commitment to its fans and competitors to run all the events.
“We have a commitment to the stakeholders, broadly, that we’re going to run all the races,” he said. “We are going to do everything in our power to get these races in. If there are other variables that happen that would suggest we can’t do that, we’ll look at those at that time.”
Something that Phelps did offer was that NASCAR was interested in getting the races that were postponed — especially the ones that also appear in the playoffs (Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Martinsville) — run before the postseason starts.
“That is the goal that we’re working towards right now,” said Phelps. “Again, if there are other variables that change in the future, we’ll adapt to those as well.”
Martinsville Speedway on May 8-9 is the planned return of NASCAR with Cup Series competition. Whether NASCAR will run races with or without fans in attendance, Phelps said officials view the question the same way they did when making decisions about Atlanta.
“Which is we need to make sure that we are keeping our competitors and those that are on the racetracks, our race teams, our officials — we need to have the health of those folks paramount for us,” said Phelps. “Would we consider racing without fans at some point to get back to racing more quickly? That’s in the consideration set. I don’t know. It’s (all) changing so rapidly.
“Again, we’ll work with our health officials. We’re working with a number of infectious disease professionals that are going to help us through what that looks like and whether it makes sense for us to race without fans or have our first race be back with fans.”
For more information about race postponements and cancellations across world motorsport, as well as updates for those holding tickets for affected events, click here.