NASCAR announced Friday that races at Chicago, Richmond and Sonoma have been replaced by events at Darlington and Charlotte due to the changes in NASCAR’s 2020 schedule caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Cup and Xfinity races originally scheduled to run at Chicagoland Speedway from June 18-21 have been realigned to Darlington Raceway on May 17 and May 19.
Richmond Raceway’s spring event, a Cup race originally scheduled for April that was previously postponed, has now been reassigned to Darlington on May 20.
Sonoma Raceway’s Cup Series event, originally scheduled for June 14, has been moved to Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27.
Cup races at Michigan International Speedway are scheduled for June 7 and Aug. 9 but those dates could change or the races could be canceled.
“Due to the current pandemic, NASCAR has faced several difficult decisions, including realigning race dates from several race tracks,” NASCAR said in a statement. “These decisions were made following thorough collaboration with local and state government officials from across the country, including the areas of the affected race tracks. We thank all our fans for their support, and we look forward to our return to racing.”
The Richmond and Chicago tracks were also set to run Truck Series races – April 18 at Richmond and June 19 at Chicagoland – but officials said the Richmond race will be rescheduled and the Chicago race will be reassigned at a later date.
“The difficult decision to realign our race events was a combination of where we fell on the schedule, proximity to NASCAR’s teams and the safety and well-being of our community and larger NASCAR industry,” Chicagoland president Scott Paddock said. “We will miss the roar of the engines at Chicagoland Speedway this season, but we will be rooting for and supporting our NASCAR colleagues at Darlington Raceway as competition returns on Sunday, May 17.”
Chicagoland is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation, while Sonoma Raceway is a property of Speedway Motorsports LLC, which also owns and operates Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“We work all year for this event, so this is a huge disappointment for us, for our fans and our sponsors, but we realize it’s part of a larger challenge facing our nation and everyone in the live events business,” Sonoma Raceway president Steve Page said. “We are excited that NASCAR is coming back to broadcast television and are ready to support the upcoming events at our Speedway Motorsports tracks.”
Page said NASCAR will return to Sonoma in 2021. There were no other Cup races scheduled for Chicago or Sonoma prior to the cancelations, but the 0.75-mile Richmond, Va., track will maintain its originally scheduled Sept. 11-12 race weekend.
“There will be brighter and healthier days ahead in the greater Richmond region when NASCAR returns to Richmond Raceway for the NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend on Sept. 11-12,” Richmond president Dennis Bickmeier said in a statement.
Sun., May 17: Cup Series, Darlington, 400 miles, 3:30 p.m. (Fox)
Tue., May 19: Xfinity Series, Darlington 200 miles, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Wed., May 20: Cup Series, Darlington, 500 miles, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
Sun., May 24: Cup Series, Charlotte, 600 miles, 6 p.m. (Fox)
Mon., May 25: Xfinity Series, Charlotte, 300 miles, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tue., May 26: Gander Trucks, Charlotte, 200 miles, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Wed., May 27: Cup Series, Charlotte, 500 miles, 8 p.m. (FS1)