The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced NASCAR and IndyCar to cancel or postpone a number of events.
NASCAR announced last week that it would postpone the planned events at both Atlanta Motor Speedway this past Sunday and Homestead-Miami Speedway this coming weekend. It’s not yet clear if the race at Texas Motor Speedway on March 29th will go forth without fans, but NASCAR said it would “continue to monitor this dynamic situation for future race events.” The Centers for Disease Control is currently suggesting the postponement of all events in the United States for the next eight weeks.
Similarly, the IndyCar Series was forced to cancel the season-opening St. Petersburgh Grand Prix this past weekend, along with the subsequent Long Beach Grand Prix, which was scheduled for the weekend of April 17th. The first race of the IndyCar season is now expected to be the IndyCar Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
“Our priority is to do our part in protecting the public health while still conducting the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge as scheduled on May 24,” IndyCar and IMS said in a joint statement released Monday morning. “This continues to be a dynamic situation which we are monitoring constantly in coordination with federal, state, local and public health officials. We are planning for all contingencies and will be prepared to run the GMR Grand Prix and Indy 500 as the COVID-19 situation permits.”
NASCAR and IndyCar are among several major sporting organizations that have been forced to postpone or cancel events due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The NHL and NBA both suspended their seasons, while the start of the MLB season has also been pushed back to an indefinite date. It’s not clear if the Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be held, either, though the International Olympics Committee remains adamant the games will go forth.