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Martinsville Speedway to allow 1,000 fans for Cup playoffs race

Martinsville Speedway to allow 1,000 fans for Cup playoffs race

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NASCAR Martinsville Auto Racing

The grandstands are empty during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Martinsville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Martinsville Speedway will allow just 1,000 fans in its grandstands for its Nov. 1 NASCAR Cup Series race.

The 1,000-fan limit will also be in effect for each of the events for NASCAR’s lower-level series events, the Gander Truck Series on Oct. 30 and the Xfinity Series Oct. 31.

The crowd size limit means the races are already sold out. According to the track’s website, no tickets are available for sale for the weekend’s events.

The track has grandstand capacity of about 44,000, but 1,000 is the limit under the state’s current pandemic-related Phase 3 rules.

The speedway will not have to count NASCAR competitors, event workers or media members against the attendance total.

The track announced last week that fans would be back for the races – the first time this year that fans will be on hand for any of NASCAR’s national touring series events in the state – but did not say how many fans would be allowed to attend.

NASCAR resumed its racing schedule in May after a pause of more than two months. Several races have been run with empty grandstands. Other races, in states with less stringent crowd limits, have run events with fan attendance estimated at up to 25,000.

All three Martinsville races will be nationally televised – the Cup Series and Xfinity Series on NBC and Gander Trucks on FS1.

According to the track, fans who attend will be screened upon entry with temperature checks and questions about health status and possible COVID-19 exposure. They will be required to wear face coverings and seated to maintain social distancing.

Parking procedures will also observe social distancing protocol and tailgating will not be allowed, according to the speedway.

Martinsville’s Cup Series race – 500 laps on the half-mile oval – is the next-to-last race on the series schedule. The race will be the last chance for eight championship-eligible drivers to make to cut for the “final four” who will go to the season finale at Phoenix Raceway with a chance to win the series title.

Martinsville’s Gander Truck and Xfinity races will also be the last step in determining which drivers are eligible for those series’ championship events, also at Phoenix Raceway.

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