By Carter Gil de Rubio
Start your engines and pick a nice spot on the couch, because the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series is back at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday, May 26, with the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the last event in the Truck Series was the Strat 200 on Feb. 21 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But after two months of no races, NASCAR is ready to put the Truck Series back on the track — with proper safety guidelines in place. That includes no fans in the stands for the foreseeable future.
“NASCAR prides itself in being a fan-friendly sport. Fans drive everything NASCAR does, and NASCAR looks forward to the day when it can welcome fans back to the track. The decision to race without fans for these races is focused on the long-term health of the fans and the sport,” NASCAR said in a statement.
Along with not having fans attend the races, NASCAR will also keep workspaces separate from one another unless absolutely necessary, as well as keeping groups of people who work closely with one another separated, maintain a six-feet minimum distance between haulers and racers and require a full inspection of vehicles once they enter the garage. NASCAR has also decided that rosters of 16 people are safest for these events, including driver, owner, hauler driver, spotter and crew chief.
The race will be a first for many drivers. With no fans in the stands cheering them on or even practice runs beforehand, many will have to make the adjustment to these abnormal circumstances. Johnny Sauter, who has first pit selection for the race, expressed concern regarding the conditions.
“I feel great that I have the experience that I have at a lot of these race-tracks,” he said in a statement. “The only thing that I look at is that some of these younger guys going to these racetracks having never even raced
or turned a lap there getting in trouble. What I mean by that is that you just hope you’re not a victim of a mistake.” Ben Rhodes gets the pole by way of a random draw. Tyler Ankrum starts second and will be followed by Tanner Gray, Matt Crafton and points leader Austin Hill. Kyle Busch goes off 16th, Chase Elliott 26th and John Hunter Nemechek 38th.
FS1 will broadcast the race at 8 p.m. ERecommend0 recommendationsPublished in