clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NASCAR to return on May 17th at Darlington. Maybe add North Wilkesboro too?

The Track Too Tough to Tame will run first during the pandemic too tough to tame.

Daniel Suarez, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Ford, leads Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Axalta Throwback Chevrolet, during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 02, 2019 in Darlington, South Carolina. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

If all signs are correct, we could see NASCAR return to racing at The Lady in Black in as soon as three weeks.

According to, Darlington Raceway will be the home of NASCAR returning in 2020. It’s uncertain if it will just be a NASCAR Cup Series race, or if it the full weekend including the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series would be included.

The State newspaper also confirmed racing returning via South Carolina tourism chief Duane Parrish. It’s unclear as of now if this race will also count as the Southern 500, usually held over Labor Day Weekend, and one of the oldest continuous races on the stock car calendar. The race was moved to Mother’s Day weekend in 2005, but back it its traditional spot in 2015.

The ratings for the iNASCAR Series have been excellent, but getting back on the road would be a huge boost for the product. The Coca-Cola 600 is already scheduled for the following weekend in Charlotte, and although North Carolina governor Roy Moore wasn’t ready to green light the race yet, he certainly sounds amenable.

“I’ve been in contact with NASCAR officials, track owners, team owners. They have come forward with a plan to try and protect their employees. So we’ll be coming forward with an announcement on that pretty soon.”

Cooper said NASCAR teams can return to work at their shops, if they maintain proper social distancing guidelines. He added that in his opinion, NASCAR has qualified as an essential business all along, and could have been working with restrictions in place.

Now we’ve got an idea here: if NASCAR is going to be running in the Carolinas anyway, home base of all the teams in the Cup Series... why not take this opportunity to head back to North Wilkesboro and run a race there? The track that was downsized out of existence almost 25 years ago was a fan favorite, and one of the most fun places to run. But it was just too small for what NASCAR was becoming.

With no fans able to attend anyway... wouldn’t this be the perfect time to honor NASCAR’s past?