The next two NASCAR races at Atlanta and Homestead-Miami will be loud, but only due to the sounds of the car engines. The races will run without fans in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, NASCAR announced Thursday.
"These events will be restricted to competitors, crews, officials and other necessary personnel to conduct the race," the statement said. "We will work with public health officials as we determine future scheduling beyond these events."
The decision follows announcements by other professional sports leagues to alter competition schedules to limit public exposure to the virus. The National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer have suspended their seasons, while conferences participating in N.C.A.A. men's and women's college basketball tournaments this week are either running events without fans or canceling competition altogether.
Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race is scheduled to take place at Atlanta Motor Speedway at 2 p.m. The race at Homestead-Miami is scheduled to take place the following week at the same time at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Xfinity and Truck Series races will also take place at those tracks over the next two weekends.
"Ticketholders on file will receive a credit for the full amount paid towards any admissions including grandstand seating, infield, camping, fan hospitality, pit passes, etc.," Atlanta Motor Speedway said in a statement on Thursday. "The credit can be used for the balance of the 2020 or 2021 seasons for a NASCAR sanctioned event at any Speedway Motorsports owned track, subject to availability."
The process for redeeming the ticket credits will be posted on the Atlanta Motor Speedway website within the next 48 hours.
"We ask that you wait for those details before contacting the Ticket Office directly with specific questions regarding your purchase," the statement said.
FOX is NASCAR's broadcast partner and has not yet announced any changes to the broadcast schedule.
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