Texas Motor Speedway has announced it will allow fans to attend its July 19 NASCAR Cup Series race.
“Texans are eager for sporting and entertainment events to return, and this is a great step towards that goal,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “As we continue to open Texas, it is essential that we do so in a way that keeps Texans safe and limits the spread of COVID-19. Texas Motor Speedway has put a tremendous amount of work, time, and energy into ensuring that this race meets all the necessary safety and health standards, and I applaud them for this effort.
“As with any public event or gathering, I urge all Texans to make smart decisions to protect their health, including wear a face mask, washing their hands, and practicing social distancing. Texans are excited for NASCAR and are ready to return to the grandstands, and I thank Texas Motor Speedway for making sure that we do this in a safe and smart way.”
Both the grandstands and suites (with limited guests) will be open. However, fans will have to abide by social distancing requirements in the grandstands and concession lines. The speedway will also have enhanced cleaning and sanitation areas as well as additional hand-sanitizer stations.
Wearing a face mask is not mandatory but, the TMS website notes, “Speedway Motorsports strongly suggests that fans wear masks while in attendance.”
Fans will be allowed to bring food and unopened beverages in a clear bag. Coolers are not allowed. Fans interested in attending the event can find all pertinent information on the TMS website.
Texas will host the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and the Xfinity Series on Saturday, July 18. Fans are only able to attend the Sunday race for the Cup Series. TMS says it will be the first major sports event in the state open to fans since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Governor Abbott continues to lead the charge in returning live sports competition to Texas, so we’re very appreciative of everything he and his staff, as well as NASCAR, have done to work with us in allowing fans at Texas Motor Speedway for the July 19 O’Reilly Auto Parts 500,” said track president Eddie Gossage. “Safety remains the primary focus for everyone who takes part in the weekend events, from fans to competitors, officials, and track staff, so we continue to work with federal state officials to comply with both Texas and CDC recommendations and requirements.”
Texas is the third announced race to have fans in attendance. Homestead-Miami Speedway opened its grandstands to 1,000 military members and their families, and Talladega Superspeedway this weekend will have a limit of 5,000 fans allowed in the grandstands.