An increasing coronavirus trend in the state is not stopping Texas Motor Speedway from announcing that fans can attend the NASCAR race at the track on July 19.
The track said Friday that it would sell an unidentified number of tickets to its Sunday Cup Series race. The announcement came a day after the state of Texas reported its highest number of coronavirus cases in a single day. The 3,516 cases reported Thursday was the second straight day that Texas has topped 3,000 new cases in a day. The state will top 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday.
The speedway’s release even included a statement from Gov. Greg Abbott. Cases have been on a steady upward trend in Texas as the state has tried to resume normal business activity.
"Texans are eager for sporting and entertainment events to return, and this is a great step towards that goal," Abbott said in the statement. "As we continue to open Texas, it is essential that we do so in a way that keeps Texans safe and limits the spread of COVID-19. Texas Motor Speedway has put a tremendous amount of work, time, and energy into ensuring that this race meets all the necessary safety and health standards, and I applaud them for this effort.”
"As with any public event or gathering, I urge all Texans to make smart decisions to protect their health, including wearing a face mask, washing their hands, and practicing social distancing. Texans are excited for NASCAR and are ready to return to the grandstands, and I thank Texas Motor Speedway for making sure that we do this in a safe and smart way."
There is no mention of a mask mandate in Texas Motor Speedway’s release. Bristol Motor Speedway is the site of the All-Star Race four days ahead of Texas’ rescheduled race. It is allowing up to 30,000 fans in the grandstands and is not requiring fans to wear masks despite NASCAR requiring all participants to wear a face covering at all times.
The races at Texas and Bristol will be the first NASCAR races with over 5,000 fans since the sanctioning body resumed racing in May. NASCAR moved the All-Star Race from Charlotte to Bristol as coronavirus cases in North Carolina spiked like they are spiking in Texas.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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