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NASCAR Fans Will Return To Texas Motor Speedway This Weekend

A car makes a trail of white smoke in front of mostly empty grandstands.
Randy Holt
AP Photo
Kevin Harvick (4) celebrates winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race with a burnout at Texas Motor Speedway, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Fort Worth, Texas.

For sports fans, it has been a long few months.

The COVID-19 pandemic put an indefinite hold on major league sports with fans in the stands — until this weekend.

NASCAR, and spectators, will be back at Texas Motor Speedway with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday. The race was initially scheduled for March, but it was postponed, and now, it's a much different world.

Tailgating is discouraged. Fans are required to wear masks. Grandstands are at half capacity — which could be up to 70,000 people, according to Speedway spokesperson David Hart, although he doesn’t expect anything even close to that number.

“No one should expect the great crowds we’ve had here in the past," he said.

Texas Motor Speedway is also making sure attendees know that going to the race is risky. A video on its website has this warning:

"Texas Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed to coronavirus during your visit." 

Hart said people who don't follow the rules will be asked to — but safety at any business right now is not 100 percent guaranteed.

"We wanna make extra sure that people have a good time, but they understand that there are things that are completely out of our control," he said.

The speedway has two lesser races with no spectators on Saturday.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at You can follow Miranda on Twitter @mirandarsuarez.

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Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.