NASCAR comes roaring back, naming health care heroes as Grand Marshals for May 17 race

After months of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR is making its return.

But the 400-mile event on Sunday, May 17 will be different than your standard NASCAR racing fare, and not just because there won’t be fans in attendance. Health care heroes from across the country will serve as 36 Grand Marshals for the race, participating in a pre-recorded delivery of the iconic preamble before every NASCAR race:

“Drivers, Start Your Engines!”

Each of the Grand Marshals will be saluted by a driver participating in event at South Carolina’s Darlington Raceway.  

Prior to the race itself, on Thursday, May 14 at 7 p.m. ET (the same time when individuals across the nation express their admiration and thanks for health care heroes), drivers will post a video thanking their corresponding health care worker and introduce them as Grand Marshal.

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“NASCAR and its teams are eager and excited to return to racing, and have great respect for the responsibility that comes with a return to competition,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer

According to NASCAR’s website, the event will be significantly modified in accordance with national and local health and government recommendations.

While some professional sports have resumed in different parts of the world amid COVID-19 crisis, NASCAR’s upcoming race will be the first major American sporting event to occur since the onset of the pandemic. You check out the dates for upcoming NASCAR races on their website.

You can watch the race live on Sunday, May 17, starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

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