As with any sport contemplating its return in the midst of a global pandemic, NASCAR has to figure out how its racing series' will determine who is healthy enough to participate and whether coronavirus has made its way into a crew or racing team. The somewhat good news is that it looks like tests won't be taken from the public in bulk to accomplish this goal; the bad news is that no other method is being used to do actual COVID-19 testing.
NASCAR said they won't have rapid tests, that the medical professional will look at heart rate, pulse oxygenation, etc and make a determination if someone can compete. Designated times for teams/drivers to be screened give enough time for backups to arrive in time to compete. https://t.co/nBzNuFAPVA— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 13, 2020
It's hard to know how this would work to stop any potential spread of the virus, even in theory, without knowing what benchmarks racers would need to clear in order to be eligible to race. Are these checks being done for coronavirus symptoms -- which ignores the possibility of asymptomatic individuals? Will drivers who fail one week be allowed back the next, or is a team stuck with a backup driver for an extended period of time?
The questions could go on and on for quite some time due to the unknown. What is known, however, is that the race at Darlington is happening this upcoming weekend - -where, as Pockrass notes, there will be no testing for drivers.
For Darlington, no COVID-19 testing ... a temperature check and a form each person who enters the facility will fill out. NASCAR said it does not have access to testing that wouldn't take a day or more to complete and doesn't want to take tests from people who need them. https://t.co/hNW7VHLaFS— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 13, 2020
It's not a great situation under general circumstances, but what's worse is that this will take place in a state that has seen a big rise in COVID-19 cases which show no signs of slowing down anytime soon, according to EndCoronavirus.org.