NASCAR will be one of a handful of sports broadcasting a real, live event on television this weekend. That's right. Real. Live. Sports.
In addition to UFC, bull riding, German soccer league Bundesliga and a charity golf match at Seminole Golf Club, NASCAR is attempting to reel in general sports fans who would otherwise be watching NBA, NHL or MLB games if not for the coronavirus pandemic that has forced those seasons to an indefinite halt.
"I feel like this is a genuine opportunity for many different reasons," NASCAR driver Kurt Busch said. "All sports fans, NASCAR fans, the teams, the drivers, the sanctioning body, we're all looking forward to it."
"And at the end of the day, we're hopeful that this is a light at the end of the tunnel that people can see," Busch continued. " ... It's exciting that we have our chance to go out there and just compete whether there's a stage to stand on or not. You've got to block out all that pressure."
Auto racing's most popular series, the NASCAR Cup Series, will run its first event back following a two-month hiatus this Sunday at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps said on Friday that the raceway will have about 900 people on site. The raceway has a capacity of 47,000, but the grandstands and towers will be empty of fans. Instead, spotters will be spaced six to 10 feet apart in the stands in order to play their role while social distancing, and fans need to tune in from their television sets.
NASCAR fans know how to do this, but if you are a general sports fans seeking some new content this weekend, have no fear. The Charlotte Observer's got you covered.
Q: WHEN IS THE RACE?
A: The Cup Series race at Darlington, named The Real Heroes 400 in honor of healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, will be broadcast this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on Fox.
Cup races typically run each week on Sunday afternoon from February through November. NASCAR recently announced eight more "return" Cup races in addition to Xfinity and Truck Series races, other lower-level series in the sport, which include some Wednesday night races in the coming weeks. The next Cup Series race after Sunday will be on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the same Darlington track.