NASCAR’s return means canceling or moving races

Local News

SONOMA, Calif. (KTXL) — While NASCAR is set to return to racing in just over a week, officials announced Friday that its annual event, the Toyota/Save Mart 350, has been canceled. 

Even though the sun has set on the race, plans are already in motion to ensure its return to Sonoma in 2021. 

“NASCAR will be back here,” President and General Manager for Sonoma Raceway Steve Page told FOX40. “We don’t know what the calendar is going to look like next year, but we have every expectation we will be back with a June date.”

In the grand scheme of things, NASCAR is shifting gears to restart its season and the focus for the sport is to hold all races in close proximity to its main race hub in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

“Roll in and do one-day events, roll home. No hotels. No airplanes. Trying to find a date with the guidance we’re getting from the governor and the county about when maybe there may be sports gatherings,” said Page. 

What NASCAR has done, though, is commit to running its full slate of races this season. They’ll run on the weekends and during the middle of the week. 

And since Sonoma Raceway is part of the eight-track Speedway Motorsports LLC, their race will now be held at sister track Charlotte Motor Speedway in late May. 

“We’re all apart of the same company, so, you know, it’s all accounting at that point,” said Page. 

And there is more good news for Sonoma Raceway. The National Hot Rod Association event scheduled for July is now looking at coming back in the Fall. 

They’re also hoping that as stay-at-home orders are eased, they’ll be able to return to their day-to-day operations. 

“We’re working on getting the sign-off from Sonoma County on the protocols for some of that daily activity. The race car testing, the amateur racing, the manufacturer testing, we have a very full calendar,” said Page. “And we’re anxious to get back to doing the sorts of activities that fill our calendar and make this a viable business on a daily basis.”

NASCAR’s Cup Series will be getting back to what they do best — and that is race. 

The first of seven races over a 10-day stretch returns on FOX40 a week from Sunday on May 17. They’ll start at 12:30 p.m.

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