UPDATE (1:55 p.m. ET): NASCAR announced Thursday that at least its next two races will be held without fans in attendance.
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 scheduled for this Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Dixie Vodka 400 scheduled for March 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be restricted to competitors, crews, officials and other necessary personnel to conduct the race.
The decision comes as the sports world continues to react accordingly to the new coronavirus pandemic.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 12, 2020
ORIGINAL POST: The new coronavirus has delivered its first blow to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
The Dixie Vodka 400, originally scheduled for March 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, was postponed Thursday by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. The decision was made with the county under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NASCAR, which still has the option to hold the race as scheduled but without fans, plans to make an announcement Thursday afternoon.
Here’s Gimenez’s statement:
NASCAR Homestead race may go forward without fans, per @MayorGimenez. Miami Open cancelled. All AA Arena concerts cancelled. Gimenez also asking people to reconsider smaller gatherings. pic.twitter.com/jYH2Bm1kKb
— Doug Hanks (@doug_hanks) March 12, 2020
Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway still was a go as of Thursday morning, but that is subject to change.
The coronavirus’ impact on the sports world has been unprecedented. Unfortunately, all indications are the situation will get worse before it gets better.