Nascar brings back the fans, invites military to Miami race

Nascar is ready to welcome US fans back to their races for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit, beginning with 1000 military personnel at a race in Miami, Florida on Sunday (14 June).

The Nascar Cup Series is also planning to allow 5 000 spectators to attend a race 21 June in Talladega, Alabama as part of its plan to bring fans back on a limited basis. The series usually averages about 65 000 fans per race.

"We have tremendous respect and appreciation for the responsibility that comes with integrating guests back into our events," said Nascar vice-president Daryl Wolfe.

"We believe implementing this methodical process is an important step forward for the sport and the future of live sporting events.

"The passion and unwavering support of our industry and fans is the reason we race each weekend and we look forward to slowly and responsibly welcoming them back at select events."

Organizers said they consulted with public health officials, medical experts and other local, state and federal authorities in determining protocols for the two races.

All fans will undergo health questions and temperature checks as they enter the facility. They must also wear face masks and keep six feet apart.

The Dixie Vodka 400 in Miami this weekend will be the first Nascar event since 8 March to have fans in attendance. There was no word on when the series would fully open their races to the general public again.

The United States has a world-leading 1.9 million coronavirus cases with over 111 000 deaths.

Florida has seen a surge in cases over the past week as is now outpacing New York in the number of new Covid-19 cases. Florida has a total of 65 000 cases and over 2 700 deaths.