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Texas Motor Speedway to host first major sports event with fans since COVID-19 shutdown

Speedway leaders are strongly suggesting fans to wear masks but not requiring it. All employees, vendors and NASCAR personnel will wear masks.
Credit: AP
Denny Hamlin celebrates with a burnout after winning a NASCAR Cup auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Randy Holt)

FORT WORTH, Texas — Texas Motor Speedway will welcome fans back to the raceway in July, after Gov. Greg Abbott approved a new safety plan.

Fans will be able to attend the rescheduled NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on July 19. This will be the first major league sporting event in Texas with fans in attendance since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the economy.

An NTT Series IndyCar race was held at the track in early June, but no fans were in attendance.

Anyone attending will be required to follow proper social distancing guidelines. Speedway leaders are strongly suggesting fans to wear masks but not requiring it. All employees, vendors and NASCAR personnel will wear masks.

"Texans are eager for sporting and entertainment events to return, and this is a great step towards that goal," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a press release.

Texas Motor Speedway will also be limiting the number of guests in suites and restricting infield access to NASCAR and event staff only. 

Per Abbott's orders, attendance will be capped at 50% capacity. That means TMS officials will had to reissue all tickets to ensure proper spacing. 

Fans who previously purchased tickets and are interested in attending in July, need to fill out an intent form online.

Ticketholders who do not want to attend will be eligible to receive 120% credit to a future event at any Speedway Motorsports facilty or a full refund. A ticket exchange form is also available online.

Speedway staff has been working with federal and state officials to comply with Texas and CDC recommendations and requirements, according to President Eddie Gossage. He's been managing the track since it opened in 1996.

RELATED: NASCAR bans Confederate flag at events and tracks

Fans will be allowed to bring food and unopened beverages in a soft-sided clear bag no larger than 14x14x14 inches. Standard coolers will not be allowed to reduce contact with security.

For more information regarding this series, you can click here.

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