NASCAR Returns: How it Will All Work Behind the Scenes

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As Aaron Burr said to Alexander Hamilton right before they realized a duel was inevitable: “alright, so we’re doing this.”

Well, it’s what he said in the musical, so you can gauge how historically accurate that statement is on your own. Also, Burr said it in Act I as the two were preparing to serve as seconds in a duel between two other men, not their own, but you get the idea. NASCAR is indeed doing this, getting back to real live racing, this Sunday at Darlington Raceway.

Live racing means live betting on sports again. You can bet on the NASCAR races just like you can wager online with login joker123 at this online casino. So how are they doing it? We’ll run through the specifics and FYIs right now.

First off, a lot of credit to NASCAR for taking their eNASCAR franchise, the iRacing series and immediately putting it out front and center as soon as the pandemic hit and sports everywhere got cancelled. They saw an opportunity and seized upon it.

Too bad another sports league partnered with FOX Sports, Germany’s Bundesliga, didn’t get the same treatment from the network. FOX is whiffing really badly on that front. Speaking of media and television, here’s the link to the NASCAR tv schedule for this weekend.

You already know that no fans will be let in for this race, and their access will be restricted on the grounds. So if you’re a NASCAR fan who’s thinking about going to Darlington just to tailgate in the parking lot of whatever.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so that covers the fans, but what about media?

It’ll be bare bones only: one reporter from the Associated Press, two more selected by the National Motorsports Press Association and one local or NASCAR-designated reporter.

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That’s it, and the AP reporter will be designated as the pool reporter for media covering the event remotely. Additionally, all reporters must wear protective masks at all times, and their access will be limited to the press box only. Face masks will be provided on-site if you do not already have one.

There will be no grandstand, infield, garage or pit road access. There will be a temperature check at the staging area, and all individuals must wear a face mask. No in-person interviews will be conducted; all non-broadcast partner media interviews will be done via a post-race video teleconference via Zoom.

In other words, for the small handful of reporters who will be credentialed for this, it’s basically not a whole lot more than covering the race by watching it on TV and then doing interviews with the participants via Zoom.

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As someone who has has covered NASCAR races on every level, I can tell you that the press box is so disconnected from all the action that it’s almost like not being there at all. An overwhelming majority of journalists set up shop in the media center, so that they can have quick, easy access to pit road.

There will be no media center for this race at Darlington, only a virtual one. Of course, this is all being done to comply with CDC, local, state and federal guidelines. NASCAR is actually a sport, like golf, with social distancing already built in to some extent.

The major concerns would be within each racing team and their pit crews. In terms of when the fans come back, I wouldn’t expect anything until there is a highly effective and widely available coronavirus therapeutic.

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That could arrive well before a vaccine, which probably won’t be available until the end of this year/early next year. As for the media, well, like I said in mid-March, when the handbasket first arrived to carry the sports world to hell, locker room access is never coming back.

And everything else will be more streamlined and heavily monitored. For actual, legitimate reporters, it’s going to be very difficult. The presenters, hosts and hostesses etc. who work for the broadcast partners, they will of course be taken care of.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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  1. […] NASCAR returns to action this Sunday, and the work being done by the tiny amount of reporters being allowed in to cover the race will be done via Zoom. As more sports come back, the more sports betting and daily fantasy sports apps will see their growth take of. People are so starving for sports right now, it's easy to see even the never soccer crowd get into the German Bundesliga, which comes back on Saturday. […]

  2. […] NASCAR returns to action this Sunday, and the work being done by the tiny amount of reporters being allowed in to cover the race will be done via Zoom. As more sports come back, the more sports betting and daily fantasy sports apps will see their growth take of. People are so starving for sports right now, it’s easy to see even the never soccer crowd get into the German Bundesliga, which comes back on Saturday. […]

  3. […] easily to social distancing, and also is not very difficult in regards to competing interests. The auto racing body returned to action at Darlington on May 17. Both auto and horse racing events will be staged without fans allowed. One would think that goes […]

  4. […] easily to social distancing, and also is not very difficult in regards to competing interests. The auto racing body returned to action at Darlington on May 17. Both auto and horse racing events will be staged without fans allowed. One would think that goes […]

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