Sports Update: Drivers, Start! Your! Engines! NASCAR Returns (5/11/20) By: Josh Scott
After two long months, the sports world finally begins its slow comeback to normalcy. This Sunday, May 17th, marks the return of one of America's major sports: the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR).
NASCAR's Cup Series travels to Darlington Raceway, in South Carolina, where star drivers like Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano resume their pursuit of the coveted Bill France Cup. After making adjustments to the season schedule, the track "Too Tough To Tame" will host two races in one week. This Sunday's 292-lap/400-mile race will be followed by a rare Wednesday night race (May 20th) of 228 laps/300 miles. The following week sees NASCAR return home to Charlotte Motor Speedway where the sports longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, will be run on Memorial Day weekend as scheduled. CMS will also host a second race, another on a Wednesday night (May 27th), of 208 laps/311 miles. Four races in 11 days.
Both Darlington races and the second Charlotte race pose as substitutes for the following venues and their original dates: Richmond Raceway (April 19th), Sonoma Raceway (June 14th), and Chicagoland Speedway (June 21st). All four races will be run without fans in attendance.
2014 series champion Kevin Harvick leads the standings by one point over Joey Logano. Logano won the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway, the last race before COVID-19 put the season on pause. The Connecticut native is also the only driver so far to win two races this season. Chase Elliott holds third place followed by Hendrick Motorsports teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time champion. Johnson will retire at season's end capping off a legendary 18-year career in the Cup Series.
While it's not a touchdown pass, 3-point shot, or home run, the sound of 40 stock cars coming to life is certainly something to be excited about!