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Richmond races will be held without fans

Richmond races

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Hazelnut Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, lead the field during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on September 21, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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Richmond Raceway announced that its NASCAR races Sept. 10-12 will be held without fans.

The races include the Sept. 12 Cup playoff race, which is the middle race of the first round. The Xfinity Series has a doubleheader there Sept. 11-12. The Sept. 10 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race is the final regular season race for that series.

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“This was a difficult decision, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic we believe at this time it is in the best interests of the local community to host races without fans,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “We are grateful for the patience and support of our long-time loyal fans in this unprecedented season, but we will unite over race weekend as we tune in to the national broadcasts on NBCSN, FS1, and MRN to watch NASCAR’s best compete in four races over three days at America’s Premier Short Track.”

Virginia is in Phase 3 of its reopening. Phase 3 guidelines for sports venues limit those facilities to whichever is less: 50% of occupancy of 1,000.

The playoffs open Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway. That track has been approved by South Carolina officials to host up to 8,000 fans for the Southern 500.