NASCAR President Steve Phelps said that 2020 is “the single most difficult year” that NASCAR has faced as a sport.
The president spoke of the difficulties that the industry had to face as a whole and how they were able to deal with the adversities. He said:
“The year has been in short I would say extraordinary, although I could probably use 15 or 20 other words to try to get to something. It’s just unprecedented in the history of our country, in the history of sports, and certainly in the history of our sport.
“I would suggest this is the single most difficult year that we’ve faced as a sport. But through it all this industry, I’ve said this before, I believe this industry does adversity better than any sport.”
NASCAR was able to run the entire number of races it had originally planned for its three national series this year – Cup, Xfinity and Trucks. But to complete the schedule as per the initial plan was not as easy as said. Several new procedures were introduced in light of the pandemic, including organizing mid-week races, doubleheader events and scrapping practice and qualifying sessions.
“When we shut down heading into Atlanta, we had no idea when we were going to get back to racing,” Phelps said. “It was our goal, and a stated goal, that we were going to run all races.
“We did it through ways that frankly probably we didn’t think we could do, right? For us to be the first sport back without fans initially on May 17 in Darlington, to the first sport back with fans, I think it’s an extraordinary achievement.”
Now the next step would be to bring back fans in the stands.
“The hallmark of our sport is about accessibility to the garage, accessibility to the drivers, the crews. We don’t have that,” he said.
“We don’t have that because we need to keep people safe. That’s the only way we’re going to run a race is if we’re going to keep people safe. I do know that we have every intention of running on February 14 the (Daytona) 500.
“Our plan is to race in front of fans.”