With the COVID delta variant spreading like wildfire through the United States, NASCAR has enacted policies beginning with this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series races at Michigan International Speedway as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at WWT Raceway at Gateway in an effort to keep those within the industry safe from contraction of the virus.
According to a release from NASCAR, the adjustments have been made through advice from NASCAR’s consulting physicians and recently issued medical guidance.
Fans and guests of the teams at the track will see the following changes to the weekend routine:
- Guests are no longer permitted to access team haulers or garage stalls
- Guests’ access to the grid has been suspended until further notice; only NASCAR-licensed individuals will be permitted on the grid.
- Drivers are prohibited from visiting suites, although teams can still host guests in controlled, outdoor and distanced meetings with drivers.
- Driver movement routes will be planned to eliminate casual interactions between themselves and fans.
- Additionally, driver intros and Victory Lane will be modified to significantly reduce driver exposure through various means such as staggered timings, secure routes, masks in the holding area and a reduced number of people in Victory Lane.
As far as media personnel, here are the changes they can expect to their weekend routine:
- Media will not be permitted to access team haulers or garage stalls.
- Media will be required to wear masks while interacting with drivers and team personnel, even while outside.
- Media members will still be permitted to access the grid with either a NASCAR hard card or essential credential.
- Media engagments will take place in controlled, spaced-out settings.
As was already the case, masks are required to be worn in enclosed areas at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
This comes just as the industry had started to really relax their protocols and guests from sponsors had been allowed to be more present with the teams.