UPDATE: Thursday, March 12 at 1:45 PM ET: NASCAR has made the decision to run the races this weekend at Atlanta and next weekend at Homestead with no fans in attendance:
Original Story: While NASCAR has given it their best effort to get in their 2020 racing season amidst the threat of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), it appears that the sanctioning body may have to forgo having a live-crowd next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway if the season is to continue without any missed races.
On Thursday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez has cancelled mass gatherings as the county is under a state of emergency in an effort to not have an outbreak of COVID-19.
As a result, the NASCAR race weekend set for next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway has been postponed, as it stands. However, NASCAR can decide to run the race without a live fan presence in the stands.
Here is the full statement released by the Miami-Dade Mayor on Thursday:
Miami-Dade County is under a state of emergency, as we deal with the public health threat of COVID-19.
Although we do not have community spread at this time, we want to take the preemptive steps to keep it that way. Therefore, I have decided to suspend the operation of the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, the Miami Open tennis tournament, the MIA 5K run, and all major events at the American Airlines Arena. The March 22 NASCAR race at the Homestead Miami Speedway is postponed at this time. NASCAR officials will decide whether or not to hold the race without fans.
As we move forward together during this time, we will continue to monitor what the World Health Organization has determined is a global pandemic. We will constantly evaluate planned mass gatherings as the situation evolves.
I will be making future policy decisions regarding indoor events planned for more than 250 people based on federal and state health officials’ guidance.
In addition, I am recommending that smaller gatherings, if they’re not essential, also be reconsidered.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.