By STEVEN MARSH
MARTINSVILLE — When NASCAR’s three national touring series stage championship playoff races at Martinsville Speedway later this month, it will do so with fans in the grandstands.
Championship races in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck, Xfinity and Cup series are slated for the .526-mile Henry County oval Friday, Oct. 30, Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1.
Each race is the penultimate postseason one in each series.
A limited number of fans will be permited to attend each race, but track officials did not release a total.
The track said fans will attend “in accordance with public health officials and local, state and federal authorities.’’
“Martinsville Speedway is the home to some of the most competitive and dramatic racing in NASCAR, so we look forward to welcoming fans back to be a part of the experience,’’ Martinsville President Clay Campbell said in a prepared statement.
“The roar of the engines combined with the return of fans’ cheers will make the intense battle to set the field for the NASCAR championship that much better.’’
Martinsville hosted a mid-week Cup race under the lights in June; it was one of the first races contested when the series return from a COVID-19 hiatus.
Martin Truex Jr. won his second straight race at the track to earn a berth in the playoffs. He remains eligible for the championship heading into Sunday’s elimination race in Charlotte, N.C.
“After successfuly hosting a June NASCAR Cup Series race, Martinsville willbe ready to welcome fans back for a safe race experience in the Commonwealth (of Virginia),’’ Campbell. said.
Fans who have already bought tickets to a race will assigned new seats that will be as comparable to those first purchased to ensure social distancing. Newer lower ticket pricing will be applied, track officials said.
Also, all guests will be screened before entering the facility, will be required to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of social distancing throughout the venue, track officials said.
Coolers will not be allowed, but clear bags up to 18x18x14 in size will be permitted, track officials said.
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