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IndyCar returns to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, but the stands will be empty

NASCAR will return to the track July 18-19, for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500. Officials is still determining how many fans could attend.
Credit: Tiffany Liou / WFAA
Texas Motor Speedway on May 1, 2020.

The Genesys 300, an NTT Series IndyCar race, is set to take place this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, but fans won't be present.

This is the season opener for the series, almost three month late. The season was supposed to open March 15 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Now it will be Saturday at the fast 1 1/2-mile track in Fort Worth in one day. Practice, qualifying and the 200-lap race will be held on the same day at Texas Motor Speedway. 

The race will take place at 7 p.m. and will be televised.

It will be nearly a month before they race again July 4 on the road course at Indianapolis.

The stands will be empty due to COVID-19, however, as track officials said they didn't have time to prepare for fans to attend this weekend.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced fans could return to outdoor sporting as of May 31. 

In addition to needing to be ready from a cleaning perspective, the track had already told most employees they wouldn't be needed, a spokesperson for TMS told WFAA in late May.

The track is providing options for full refunds or credit for future events. Fans can learn more here.

Workers and competitors will go through a health screening each day prior to entering the track.

As of June 5, Abbott's orders say outdoor motorsports may allow up to 50% capacity at events, provided they can allow for social distancing. Ultimately, the choice to allow fans, and deciding how many, falls to the venue owner.

Another event that was postponed at TMS, the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, has been rescheduled for July 18-19, track officials announced Thursday.

TMS says they are working with NASCAR, and in coordination with state and local officials, to determine the number of fans who can safely attend. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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