There wasn’t much in the way of “normal” during Sunday’s NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway. From drivers and crews wearing masks to completely empty bleachers, the Real Heroes 400 was a bizarre watch for any NASCAR fan.
However, for some, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., the first Cup Series event since March 8 felt like small progress toward breaking free from the shackles of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While watching Kevin Harvick drive to his 50th career victory, Earnhardt tweeted a sentiment that many people currently can relate to.
I missed our sport. But I really miss the ability to go, do, and live free of concern or fear for my family and friends. This pandemic has been a misery on so many in this world. As I watch this race today itâs primarily with hope that we are climbing out of this mess.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) May 17, 2020
Amen to that.
Earnhardt and the rest of the NASCAR world will have another opportunity to escape from reality Wednesday night when drivers compete under the lights in the Darlington 500K. After that, the focus will turn toward Sunday, when Charlotte Motor Speedway will host the Coca-Cola 600, the third Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in seven days.