ORIGINAL STORY: July 12, 2020 9:23 PM ET
All things considered, NASCAR has had a decently smooth return to action since a shutdown due to COVID-19 from a schedule standpoint. However, that may all change in the next few days.
According to a source within a NASCAR Cup Series team, who spoke to TobyChristie.com under the condition of anonymity, next weekend’s NASCAR events at Texas Motor Speedway are in question and the sanctioning body is looking at potential options of relocating the races to another facility.
According to the source, a plan for the upcoming weekend is expected to be in place and if there are changes that will be made, teams will be informed by Tuesday.
No potential replacement venues were indicated at this time and it is also important to note that the race weekend could still go on as planned next weekend at TMS. But this is confirmation that there is a conversation going on about the race weekend, and there is a chance that if it does go on, that it’ll be at a different track than TMS.
An attempt for comment from NASCAR has gone unanswered at the time of publishing.
Rumors began swirling about next weekend’s events at Texas Motor Speedway, when the Twitter account @MillNASCAR sent out the following Tweet on Sunday:
Hearing the Texas race this weekend is in serious jeopardy. NASCAR has until Tuesday to cancel/relocate the event…
— NASCARRumorMill (@MillNascar) July 12, 2020
The state of Texas has become a hot spot for COVID-19 in recent months (the state hit an all-time high of 10,351 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday) and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has begun to place more and more strict regulations in place over the last few weeks in an effort to slow the spread.
On July 3rd, Abbott mandated masks in business and in the general public in all counties with more than 20 new cases of COVID-19. Abbott also limited mass gatherings in Texas to groups of 10 people or less unless the mayor of the city in which the gathering is held, or the county judge in the case of a gathering in an unincorporated area, approves of the gathering.
On July 10th, Abbott even warned that the state may have to shut things down from an economic standpoint if worse gets to worse.
It’s important to note that just because there are discussions of moving the Texas race weekend to another venue, that until anything is announced officially, we must assume the race will go on as planned.
NASCAR is 17 races into the 36-race NASCAR Cup Series schedule, the latest event took place on Sunday at Kentucky Speedway and resulted in an electric finish for the win, which led to Cole Custer’s first career victory.
UPDATE: July 13, 2020 9:23 AM ET
A second anonymous source has come forward, this time from a NASCAR Xfinity Series team who says they have also been told that the decision to run the upcoming race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway is up in the air. The second source echoed what the original source had disclosed to TobyChristie.com, that a decision should be known by Tuesday.
Additionally, Jonathan Fjeld from The Racing Experts reports via Twitter that a source has disclosed to him that NASCAR is meeting with broadcast partners on Monday to determine the course of action involving Texas Motor Speedway.
Regarding this, an Xfinity team member told me that NASCAR and the TV broadcasters will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the possibility of the next three races being moved to other tracks.
No confirmed changes yet, only that there will be a meeting tomorrow. https://t.co/xR3iA3Qp2m
— Jonathan Fjeld (@jonathan_fjeld) July 13, 2020
UPDATE: July 13, 2020 11:30 AM ET
According to the original source of the story, there are several options that are on the table for this weekend, including options that would keep the race weekend in Texas.
The source says NASCAR could run Texas this weekend with a fly in and fly out on the same day protocol, where teams would not be staying in hotels. Other options, according to the source, would be to run races at Charlotte, Kansas or Martinsville.
An additional anonymous source within a separate NASCAR team says they too have heard that the plan, if the races aren’t run in Texas will be Charlotte or Martinsville and this source also disclosed to TobyChristie.com that they have been told to cancel all plans for Texas. When asked for clarification on what plans entail, the source said, “Hotels and flights.”
UPDATE: July 13, 2020 11:40 AM ET
In a report from Kickin’ The Tires, Texas Motor Speedway track president Eddie Gossage states that a potential cancellation or relocation of TMS’ weekend races is news to him. According to this report, NASCAR also states that the races are still a go for this weekend in Texas.
TobyChristie.com still has not received a comment from NASCAR in regards to this story.
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.