HAZARD, Ky (WYMT)- Has it only been two months? Yes. Two months ago, the NBA suspended play leading the way for all sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. While it may seem longer to sports fans across the country, the end might be insight.
FILE - In this May 11, 2012, file photo, a few fans are shown in the grandstands to watch NASCAR auto racing practice at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. NASCAR will get its season back on track starting May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina without spectators, and the premier Cup Series plans to race four times in 10 days at a pair of iconic tracks. The revised schedule released Thursday, April 30, 2020, goes only through May and has a pair of Wednesday races — fulfilling fans longtime plea for midweek events. (AP Photo/Willis Glassgow, File)
"Yeah it was really relieving," said World of Outlaw Sprint Car racer Jacob Allen. "Just being glad to go back racing."
Friday night the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returned to racing at the famed Knoxville Raceway. The catch? No fans.
"I just kind of looked at the situation as when you and your buddies go and play pickup basketball behind somebody’s house, It was like playing back yard racing," said Allen. "You got all the good guys together and we met up at Knoxville and just went racing."
That is the price to pay for sports fans. It is inevitable that events will begin with no fans but the real question is for how long.
While nobody has the answer, leagues are finding ways to protect their athletes when they do start back up.
"We are going to have different times for arrivals and then were going to go straight to the medical center to check temperatures to make sure we are good and healthy and then go," said NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez.
NASCAR will return to the racetrack on May 17th at Darlington. The Cup Series will run four races in two weeks with their two support classes running three more in that same time frame.
The UFC entered the octagon Saturday without fans as well.
When will we be able to attend these events again? Who knows but at least sports are slowly trickling back.