NASCAR turns once again to Darlington to ‘reset’ its season

Sunday night’s Southern 500 will kickoff the 2020 Cup Series playoffs, just as originally scheduled. What was not scheduled was the fact Sunday’s race will be the third Cup event at the iconic track this season.

Such is the way of things in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the Cup series’ fourth race of the season, NASCAR put the sport on hiatus as the pandemic spread across the country. All sports came to a grinding halt.

When NASCAR began plans to restart its season in mid-May, it had to do so with numerous new protocols in place – limiting the number of people at tracks, no fans and the elimination of practices and qualifying.

NASCAR also had to find a way to make up all the races it had missed during its two-month shutdown.

It began by hosting two races without fans at Darlington, a 400-mile race on May 17 and a 500k-mile event on May 20. NASCAR was the first major professional sport to return to competition with live TV events and it did so without major hiccups.

In the 3½ months since, NASCAR has managed to make up all its missing races in the Cup series and is back on its original schedule. It’s Xfinity and Truck series will also be back to their regular schedules in the coming weeks.

All three national series are on track to conclude their respective seasons with championship…

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