It has been a really weird time for sporting events during the coronavirus pandemic. While we are still a long way from filling stadiums back up with fans, some sports like NASCAR, are finding ways to get back on track - literally. I will say that NASCAR has been, in my opinion, the most innovative sports during this time. They replaced racing on the track with virtual racing featuring real drivers. But that is all changing as teams get back to real races at our favorite venues.

NASCAR racing returns to Texas Motor Speedway after a nearly four-month layoff with the 24th running of the NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, July 19, which will be broadcast live on NBCSN. The tripleheader weekend kicks off Saturday, July 18, with the NASCAR Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 at 2pm and the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Vankor 350 at 7pm.

The original O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend, scheduled for March 27-29, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Getting the motorsports industry back to work while keeping the health and safety of those who participate on site has been our top priority, and the past couple of weeks of NASCAR racing prove we've made some good decisions," said Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith. "Sports fans worldwide need a return to a sense of normalcy, and live NASCAR competition on broadcast TV provides it. We're glad to see NASCAR making a return this summer to the great state of Texas and to The Great American Speedway."

Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR have developed a comprehensive plan and continue to work with state and local officials to determine the size and scope of the number of race fans who will be able to attend the weekend's events.

"We couldn't be happier to have NASCAR racing back at Texas Motor Speedway for the 24th consecutive season," said Eddie Gossage, President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway. "Our first choice is always to open the grandstands, suites and infield to our race fans. We currently don't have any information to share about if fans will be able to attend but we are working on the issue with the state of Texas to make sure we comply with their direction."

For those who have tickets to any of those races, hold onto them and pay close attention to TexasMotorSpeedway.com. That's where you will find all the information you will need on what to do with them. For any O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend ticket holders unable to attend the weekend's events, additional options include choosing to receive an event credit for the full amount paid plus an additional 20 percent, or choosing to receive a full refund of their purchase price. The event credit can be applied toward any admissions, including, but not limited to, grandstand seating, infield tickets, camping, fan hospitality and pit passes. The 120-percent event credit can be used during the remaining 2020 or 2021 seasons for a NASCAR sanctioned event at any Speedway Motorsports owned track, subject to availability. Fans are advised to keep their current tickets and asked to complete an exchange request form at TexasMotorSpeedway.com to start the process.