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NASCAR President issues letter to fans

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 18: NASCAR President Steve Phelps speaks to the media prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2018 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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A day after NASCAR postponed all its races through May 3 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR President Steve Phelps issued a letter to fans, stressing that the series hopes to return to racing at Martinsville Speedway in May and that “we intend to hold all races this season, with future scheduling soon to be determined.”

In the letter to fans, Phelps also stated: “It’s the thrill of the race that attracts us to NASCAR and makes us all fans. But as we look broadly at the coronavirus situation that is rapidly developing in our country and abroad, what is important now is bigger than the world of sports, and we must focus on everyone’s safety and well-being.

“Most importantly, we encourage you to be smart and safe during this challenging time, and to follow the precautionary measures recommended by the CDC and World Health Organization.

“NASCAR appreciates your support and we look forward to going green.”

Phelps is scheduled to hold a 1 p.m. ET teleconference with media Tuesday.

MORE: Latest from NBC News on the coronavirus

According to the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine coronavirus resource center, there are 4,661 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and 85 deaths.