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NASCAR moves 2020 All-Star race to Bristol Motor Speedway

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Sullivan County officials have allowed for up to 30,000 fans at the All-Star Race in Bristol.
Credit: AP
Harrison Burton (20) leads the pack during NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Bristol Motor Speedway Monday, June 1, 2020, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the first time in the history of the NASCAR All-Star Race, the sport's best drivers will celebrate at the World's Fastest Half-Mile: the All-Star Race is coming to Bristol Motor Speedway.

Originally scheduled for Charlotte Motor Speedway, the race has been moved to Bristol because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The NASCAR All-Star Race is an event known for making history, and we will enhance that legacy by hosting the event at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith.

“While Charlotte will always be recognized as the birthplace and traditional home for the All-Star Race, the current data surrounding the pandemic in North Carolina makes Bristol a better option for fan access this summer,” Smith added.

Perhaps an even more noteworthy piece of information than the move itself - 30,000 fans will be allowed to watch the race in Bristol.

“North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and state health officials have played a significant role in getting NASCAR back on track by allowing the race teams to go to work and allowing Charlotte Motor Speedway to host the Coca-Cola 600. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Sullivan County officials have allowed for up to 30,000 fans at the All-Star Race in Bristol. We’re grateful for the continued support from both governors and all the state and local officials as we work with NASCAR to bring fans back to live sporting events," Smith said.

This year’s all-star event marks just the second time it has been run at a facility other than Charlotte Motor Speedway, joining Atlanta Motor Speedway, which hosted the event in 1986.

Bristol Motor Speedway’s modified event procedures, protocols and number of attendees will be finalized with continued guidance from public health officials, medical experts, local, state and federal officials, and in coordination with NASCAR. Protocols will include social distancing amongst groups of fans in the grandstands and individually in concession lines; enhanced cleaning and sanitation in high-touch, high-traffic public areas; added hand-sanitizer stations; limited guests in suites; and infield admission for race team and operation personnel only. Fans will be allowed to bring in one soft-sided clear bag with food and beverage. Coolers will be prohibited to reduce checkpoint contact between spectators and speedway staff, and souvenirs will be sold only from concourse areas. Campground shower facilities will be closed. Speedway Motorsports and NASCAR will continue to adapt and improve procedures to ensure they are effective and can be scaled to support increasing the number of fans in the future.