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NASCAR returns May 17 as first American sport during coronavirus pandemic

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USATSI

NASCAR returns May 17 as first American sport during coronavirus pandemic

NASCAR announced Thursday it will return to action May 17 with a 400-mile event at Darlington Speedway. It's the first sport in America to resume amid the coronavirus (CVID-19) pandemic. 

The event will kick-off seven events in three series at two race tracks: Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be held on Memorial Day Weekend for the 60th straight year. 

Each of NASCAR's upcoming races will be held without fans in attendance. 

NASCAR will eliminate practice for all events as of now, as well as qualifying for all events outside of the Coca-Cola 600.

“NASCAR and its teams are eager and excited to return to racing, and have great respect for the responsibility that comes with a return to competition,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Thursday in a statement. “NASCAR will return in an environment that will ensure the safety of our competitors, officials and all those in the local community.

"We thank local, state and federal officials and medical experts, as well as everyone in the industry, for the unprecedented support in our return to racing, and we look forward to joining our passionate fans in watching cars return to the track.”

NASCAR live stream: How to watch historic IndyCar doubleheader race

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USATSI

NASCAR live stream: How to watch historic IndyCar doubleheader race

Both NASCAR and IndyCar will be in action this Fourth of July weekend, and you can catch all the action on NBC.

First, IndyCar's GMR Grand Prix will be held on Saturday, July 4 on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, beginning at noon ET/9 a.m. PT.

Immediately following the IndyCar race will be NASCAR's Xfinity Series race, getting underway around 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.

Sunday will be the running of the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records, commonly known as the Brickyard 400 in the NASCAR Cup Series. That race will begin at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 5.

Here's how to watch all three races on NBC:

IndyCar GMR Grand Prix
When: 
Saturday, July 4 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT
TV: NBC
Live stream: NBC Sports

NASCAR Xfinity Series race
When: 
Saturday, July 4 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT
TV: NBC
Live stream: NBC Sports

NASCAR Cup Series race
When: 
Sunday, July 5 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT
TV: NBC
Live stream: NBC Sports

NASCAR's Bubba Wallace not target of hate crime, FBI investigation says

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NASCAR's Bubba Wallace not target of hate crime, FBI investigation says

After an emotional Monday at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, the FBI concluded African American NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the target of a hate crime.

It appeared a noose was found in Wallace's garage stall at Talladega on Sunday, but an FBI investigation showed the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been placed their months ago. This was well before Wallace's garage assignment.

Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR, was accompanied by every driver and pit crew Monday as he drove to the start line. After finishing 14th, he greeted fans for an emotional post-race interview, where he said the last week had been "hell."

Athletes like Steph Curry, LeBron James and many more rallied around Wallace on Monday. Wallace has been outspoken on racism in the sport and even helped push Confederate flags out of NASCAR events and off any properties of the sport.

More will come from this investigation, and Wallace will continue his fight to push racism out of the sport he loves.