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August 2 Cup race at New Hampshire to allow roughly 19,000 fans

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

LOUDON, NH - JULY 21: Cars fan out three wide for a re-start during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, on July 21, 2019, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. (Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s Aug. 2 Cup race will have fans in attendance, the track announced Thursday.

The permitting of fans is part of a “comprehensive action plan” approved by New Hampshire Gov. Christopher Sununu. The Aug. 2 race is the last official race date NASCAR has made public as part of the restructured portion of the schedule that was announced in early June.

Gov. Sununu tweeted that the track can operate up to 35% capacity. Track general manager David McGrath confirmed that total would be roughly 19,000 fans and that about 12,000 tickets have been sold so far.

McGrath said ticket sales are not limited to fans from New Hampshire.

“We feel pretty confident coming in for a 3 o’clock race for one day and then going home, we feel will mitigate that risk,” McGrath said.

The ticket policy for the race: Any original ticket holder for the race will receive a 120% credit that they can use toward the race. They can request a full refund or they can use that credit towards any Speedway Motorsports race for the rest of 2020 or 2021.

“Right now everybody that’s purchased a ticket that has said to our ticketing team that they want to come to the Aug. 2 race, will make it,” McGrath said in Zoom press conference. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. As we bring those people online, we have to place them around the property in the grandstand to make sure they’re socially distanced. ... We have to have a little flexibility on rows and whatnot to make sure we’re socially distanced in the front, behind and to the sides. There maybe some adjustments.”

Grandstands and suites at the 1-mile track will be open to race fans subject to social distancing requirements and additional health and safety protocols. There will be no day-of sales. As groups of ticket orders are taken by the track, fans will be placed in seats that are properly social distanced.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s modified protocols will include: social distancing in the grandstands and concession lines; enhanced cleaning and sanitation in high-touch, high-traffic public areas; added hand-sanitizer stations; limited guests in suites; and infield admission for race team and operational personnel only.

There will be no trams, camping or open bath houses for the event.

Fans will be allowed to bring food and unopened beverages in a soft-sided clear bag no larger than 14x14x14 inches. Standard coolers will be prohibited to limit interpersonal contact at security checkpoints. Cash will not be accepted at this event; credit and debit cards and Apple Pay will be the accepted forms of payment at concessions and souvenir locations.

“Holding New England’s premier NASCAR race this summer here in New Hampshire has always been a priority,” said Gov. Sununu in the press release. “The state worked closely with the folks at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the New Hampshire Division of Public Health to put forward comprehensive, operational guidance. While the stands will not be as full as they usually are, we are proud to be able to hold an in-person viewing experience for NASCAR fans.”