North Carolina governor holds brake on NASCAR racing resumption

NASCAR’s desire to begin racing again next month without fans appears to have received a cool response from the North Carolina governor’s office.

North Carolina governor holds brake on NASCAR racing resumption

In the last week, five Republican N.C. senators called on N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) to allow NASCAR to resume live racing events beginning at Charlotte Motor Speedway next month but without fans present.

To do so, however, would require Cooper to amend his executive order closing non-essential businesses and reducing the size of gatherings to 10 people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the NASCAR Cup Series team shops are located in the Charlotte area.

On Monday, Governor Cooper’s spokesman, Ford Porter, shared the following statement in response to a request for comment regarding the calls for the governor to amend his executive order:

“Governor Cooper knows the importance of NASCAR to our state and he’s already been talking with track and team owners about how we could potentially restart racing.

“It’s too soon to predict specific decisions about future sporting events but any plan would prioritize public health and safety and preventing spread of the virus.”

Read Also:

As recently as Friday Gov. Cooper said states needed more supplies from the federal government to expand testing to the levels which will be needed to allow easing business restrictions.

“The biggest problem that we have right now is testing capacity,” Cooper said in an interview with MSNBC.

As of Monday morning, there were 1,210 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County (the highest in the state) and 29 deaths. Across North Carolina, there are 6,493 confirmed cases and there have been 172 deaths.

On Friday, NASCAR announced it was officially postponing the May 8-9 race weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and also said in a statement, “Our intention remains to run all 36 races, with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined.”

There have been indications NASCAR could hold races without fans in Florida. However, even for that to happen, changes would still be needed to N.C. policy because that’s where the vast majority of NASCAR team shops are located.

The senators who signed on to the original release were Todd Johnson (R-Union County), Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus), Vickie Sawyer (R-Iredell), and Carl Ford (R-Rowan).

NASCAR declined to comment on the statement from the N.C. governor's office.

shares
comments
Who can topple Byron and other sim racing pros in eNASCAR?

Previous article

Who can topple Byron and other sim racing pros in eNASCAR?

Next article

Texas becomes latest track to stake a claim for NASCAR's return

Texas becomes latest track to stake a claim for NASCAR's return
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR , NASCAR Cup
Author Jim Utter
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020