NASCAR Made Their Drivers Wear Mask

NASCAR driver standing in front of his car with a face mask on
Artwork by Anthony Faust
NASCAR driver standing in front of his car with a face mask on

NASCAR drivers were forced to adapt to their new normal in the 2020 season, and that included wearing masks at the track. As the United States entered a pandemic-induced lock down in March, NASCAR was one of the first major sporting leagues to enact protocols for its athletes.

The mask requirement had been in place ever since NASCAR resumed racing in May of 2020 following a two-month break because of the COVID-19 pandemic. NASCAR drivers were required to wear masks when in close contact with other people and when not inside their vehicles.

The crew members also had to wear masks when they were in the garage or pits.

Many fans applauded NASCARS’s ongoing effort to keep the event safe for all the employees and crew members that participate in race day. To other fans, it was a weird or even ridiculous site to make the drivers put on a mask in an open-air track without any fans in attendance.

As part of NASCAR's safety measures, individuals entering a track's infield tunnel to reach the garages were subjected to a screening process that involved checking their temperatures, credentials, and completing health questionnaires. However, two individuals affiliated with the sport recounted incidents where they were able to access the tunnel without being stopped or screened.

At first there was some confusion about where exactly these masks needed to be worn and how secure they needed to be. Some teams thought it was enough just to keep them around the neck or even tucked into shirts and jerseys, to NASCAR's chagrin.

NASCAR also had problems with some its drivers adhering to the rules and on several occasions, their drivers were seen maskless and gloveless chatting up the fans in the crowd. In large part, the fans of NASCAR didn’t really care. Categorically, NASCAR’s fanbase was more of a ‘Covid is just another flu’ type of people, who didn’t really take to the extra rules too kindly.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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