NASCAR Deemed Essential, But Why?

INDIANAPOLIS — On Thursday, NASCAR got a generous gift by the governor of North Carolina. Despite the state’s stay-at-home order extending from April 29 to May 8, the state legislature now sees NASCAR as an “essential” form of business. Prior to today, NASCAR fell under the category of “non essential.”

Now, I get why everyone may ask, how in the world is NASCAR “essential” the answer is really a simple one – desperation.

The federal government is wanting to get back to a “new normal” soon. They can’t afford to keep the economy closed much longer. But, they can’t afford to let us all get back to our old normal either. So, the compromise is slowly allowing more and more “non essential” businesses become “essential” and see what happens.

The sporting world is a main focus in making sure we get back to “normal.” The COVID-19 was already scaring the world at the end of February and beginning of March, but its magnitude didn’t truly resonate with the citizens of the United States until Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11. That promptly shut down the NBA season immediately. In turn, every other sporting league around the world follow suit. That’s when the magnitude of this thing became real.

So, in order to start to come back out, we need sports. The problem is, sporting venues can’t host fans any time soon. While the novelvirus cases have taken a dip in terms of new patients that are hospitalized and ones that unfortunately are dying from the dreaded sickness, the truth of the matter is this, it’s doing that because we have been social distancing. Lets be real, we’re still in a pandemic and the coronavirus didn’t necessarily go anywhere. The cases are down but that’s because we got smarter too.

So, there’s no way you can open up mass gatherings any time soon, if at all this year, because of that. Go back to our “old normal” and attend big sporting events, the cases will surely rise. That in turn creates a problem with some sports leagues as they need gate admissions to make money. NASCAR is one that as weird as this sounds, doesn’t.

That’s why race tracks and their local government officials are wanting to host NASCAR races because they can do so with health and safety in place to where they’re racing and making money but not exposing more cases.

One of the proposed plans for NASCAR races are to do one-day shows. Show up on charter flights, teams work in their garage stalls only but those team members be limited because they won’t practice. If they’re not practicing, what do you need team members to work on the car and adjust it for? Also, they’re also exploring not doing live pit stop either. That eliminates the need for a full pit crew too. The race day would look like this –

  • Show up on chartered flights
  • Get bused straight to the tracks from a designated private airport
  • Go straight to their respective garage stalls
  • Qualify
  • Race
  • Head back on freshly sanitized buses to freshly sanitized chartered airplanes and back to North Carolina at the end of the race

No contact with anyone but team members will be needed, nor hotel rooms or dining. Some may ask then, why go through that hassle? Well, that answer is simple too.

See, NASCAR has an $8.2 billion TV deal. They have a net revenue from NBC Sports and Fox Sports of more than half of a million dollars per year. If you don’t race anymore in 2020, that money is gone. If you can return, that money gets distributed and tracks get a big piece of that pie.

Most NASCAR tracks make money off the TV deal before fans even come to the facilities. In turn, the state governments are making money too from it. See the boon here?

As a result, several governors around the United States are wanting to lift the strict sanctions and open their states back up again and NASCAR is a high priority for them because of this.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas have all expressed interest in holding events again and several of them singled out NASCAR as an option.

Despite that, most of the NASCAR teams are based in North Carolina and prior to Thursday, they were “non essential” remember? In order to race in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas and any other state willing, North Carolina has to see NASCAR as essential to allow the teams back in their race shops again.

That’s why they became “essential” on Thursday because they’ve become essential for monetary and physiological reasons.

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