UPDATED: Motorsports series races canceled or postponed by COVID-19

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to impact daily life, it’s brought worldwide motorsports to a halt.

Virtually every racing series in the world has ceased competition — several indefinitely – since the past weekend because of the global pandemic.

With the Centers for Disease Control recommending that events of more than 50 people be put on hold for eight weeks, it could leave more races in jeopardy with more news likely coming this week.

Here’s what several series and tracks have done with cancellations and postponements and what we know about what lies ahead with each:

IMSA: The Twelve Hours of Sebring has been postponed from the March 18-21 weekend to Nov. 11-14. Because it falls after the Petit Le Mans, Sebring will become the 2020 season finale for the sports car series (along with the Michelin Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans, which has attracted some of IMSA’s best teams in the past and should become more of a crossover event in the future, has been postponed from June to Sept. 19-20.

Petit Le Mans slid back from Oct. 7-10 to Oct. 14-17. The Laguna Seca Raceway event was moved from Sept. 11-13 to Sept. 4-6 to accommodate the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The May 1-3 race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has been postponed to Sept. 25-27.

IMSA’s next event is scheduled to be the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Raceway in Detroit on May 29-30.

INDYCAR: The first eight races of 2020 have been canceled or postponed, most notably the 104th Indianapolis 500 that has been moved to Aug. 23.

The GMR Grand Prix on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course was moved to July 4 as the first doubleheader with a NASCAR event (the Xfinity Series race will follow IndyCar). The 2020 season will begin June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway with the cancellation of the Detroit Grand Prix.

Despite efforts to reschedule the Long Beach Grand Prix from April 17-19 to the fall, the race was canceled March 18. IndyCar’s season opener at St. Petersburg, Florida, will be made up at a date to be determined and becomes the season finale. Circuit of the Americas (which has been reduced to “limited use”) and Barber Motorsports Park won’t return to the schedule.

IndyCar also has banned testing through May 10.

MOTOGP: The Moto2 and Moto3 classes ran their season openers March 8 at the Qatar Grand Prix, but the premier division was canceled. MotoGP has yet to return to the track as the first nine races in the premier series have been canceled or postponed to later in the year, most recently Italy and Spain.

The Thailand Grand Prix was moved from March 22 to Oct. 4. The Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, was shifted from April 5 to Nov. 15. The Argentina Grand Prix moved from April 19 to Nov. 22. The rescheduled races also forced the season finale at Valencia, Spain, to move from Nov. 15 to Nov. 29.

NASCAR: After running its first four races of the season, the Cup Series now has postponed the next seven races — Atlanta, Miami, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega and Dover.

It intends to restart the 2020 season with the May 9 race at Martinsville Speedway and reschedule the seven events to maintain the integrity of a 36-race schedule. No makeup dates have been set.

NASCAR also announced a full testing ban during the hiatus.

SUPERCROSS/MOTOCROSS: With 10 of 17 races completed, the 2020 season was postponed March 13. The series announced March 25 that the final seven events will be completed at dates and tracks to be finalized.

However, these seven races have been canceled: Indianapolis on March 14; Detroit on March 21; Seattle on March 28; Denver on April 4; Foxboro on April 18; Las Vegas on April 25 and May 2 at Salt Lake City.

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships also has canceled its season opener, the Hangtown Nationals and reorganized the remainder of its 2020 schedule.

FORMULA ONE: The March 15 season opener in Australia was canceled, along with the Grand Prix of Monaco on May 24. The next five races (Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands and Spain) have been postponed indefinitely. The June 7 grand prix in Azerbaijan also has been postponed, as has the June 14 race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

The season currently would begin June 28 with the French Grand Prix.

NHRA: The sanctioning body has suspended all drag racing events for the next 30 days and has shortened its 2020 schedule from 24 to 19 events while canceling the playoffs this season.

The season will resume June 5-7 with the 51st annual Gatornationals, which were rescheduled after a March 13-15 postponement.

WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP: After running its Feb. 23 race at Circuit of the Americas, the WEC canceled its March 20 event at Sebring International Raceway. Its next event is scheduled for April 25 at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

AMERICAN FLAT TRACK: The Daytona 200 was rescheduled from last weekend to October. The next race is scheduled to be March 28 in Woodstock, Georgia.

WORLD OF OUTLAWS: All races through April 18 have been postponed on Sprint Car Series’ spring tour of California. Another update is expected this week. The series also has postponed Dirt Late Models through next week.

PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB: The 98th running of the iconic event in Colorado has been moved from June 28 to Aug. 30.

FORMULA E: The series reportedly has suspended the next two months of its 2020-21 season.

DIRT TRACKS: Williams Grove Speedway has canceled programs for its second week after holdingits March 13 opening day, and other dirt tracks are following suit.

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle: Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac overtake Chase Sexton


Another crash while leading at Seattle dropped Chase Sexton from the top of the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings while solid performances by Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac allow them to climb the chart and threaten to make this a two-rider battle with six rounds remaining in the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Seattle
Cooper Webb wags his finger at Chase Sexton after winning his heat in Seattle. – Feld Motor Sports

During the race, Webb knew he had ground to make up. Riding behind both Tomac and Sexton early in the Main, he was as far back as fifth on Lap 7 at Seattle. That position would cost him the red plate and give away the advantage he began to build with his first win of the season in Tampa. Sexton is often at his best as he battles from the back and he methodically worked his way through the field. At the end of the feature, he was nearly five seconds off Tomac’s pace, but during the past 45 days, he holds the advantage. A resurgent Tomac that could erase that advantage quickly though.

Tomac struggled in Indianapolis with a neck strain. That contributed to his worst performance of 2023 and his second result outside the top five. He finished third in Detroit two weeks ago, but it was a distant third after finishing off the podium in his heat during that round. In Seattle, it appeared the same thing might happen when Tomac finished third in the prelim behind his two principal competitors Webb and Sexton. The Main was a different story.

Tomac dropped to fourth in the opening laps behind both of his rivals early in the race, but he got around Webb on Lap 2 and kept charging. When Sexton fell to the ground on Lap 11 and dropped to fourth, Tomac was in position to strike. He scored his sixth win of the season to tie James Stewart for second on the all-time wins list. He now shares the red plate with Webb as the rounds wind down.

MORE: Eli Tomac gets rebound win in Seattle

Sexton has the speed, but he lacks the seasoning of Webb and Tomac. He’s pressing hard on every lap and that has bitten him several times this year. Sexton’s mistakes are costing him with a 10th-place finish at Indy, the loss of seven points at Detroit and a fifth in Seattle as the riders he’s battling stood on the podium. No one seriously questions Sexton’s talent or speed, but ultimately the results are what counts.

Justin Barcia is hitting his stride. He advances two positions this week after scoring his fourth consecutive top-five and second podium in that span of races. Barcia finished between sixth and eighth in five consecutive rounds from Anaheim 2 through Arlington, but he’s mostly avoided controversy and that puts him fourth in this week’s SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle.

Jason Anderson had a solid performance in Seattle, but with a fifth-place finish in his heat and fourth in the Main he just keeps losing a little ground to the leaders. The biggest impact to his standing in the NBC Power Rankings is a 10th-place finish in Indianapolis that will take a while to age out of the 45-day formula. He’s tied for fourth in the championship points with Ken Roczen, who sits sixth in the rankings below. It’s important to be the rider “best in class” with Webb, Tomac and Sexton stealing the show.

450 Rankings

Rider Power
1. Cooper Webb 87.77 2 1
2. Eli Tomac 86.23 3 1
3. Chase Sexton 85.77 1 -2
4. Justin Barcia 80.71 6 2
5. Jason Anderson 80.69 4 -1
6. Ken Roczen 80.46 5 -1
7. Aaron Plessinger 75.86 7 0
8. Adam Cianciarulo 71.13 8 0
9. Christian Craig 69.86 9 0
10. Justin Cooper 62.88 10 0
11. Justin Hill 59.86 11 0
12. Dean Wilson 52.86 12 0
13. Josh Hill 49.00 15 2
14. Colt Nichols 48.67 13 -1
15. Shane McElrath 45.62 14 -1
16. Benny Bloss 43.00 16 0
17. Grant Harlan 38.08 20 3
18. Max Miller 37.67 24 6
19. Lane Shaw 36.67 21 2
20. Cade Clason 34.67 19 -1

Supercross 450 Points

The 250 West riders were back in action in Seattle and that gave Jett Lawrence the opportunity to break out of a tie with his brother Hunter Lawrence on the all-time wins list. It also provided Jett the opportunity to take back the top spot in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Seattle.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Seattle
Jett Lawrence regained the top spot overall in the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings with a near-perfect race in Seattle. – Feld Motor Sports

Jett has stood on the podium in every race this year with the exception of the second Triple Crown race at Anaheim 2 and that level of perfection gives him bragging rights. Rest assured that while the two brothers have a bond that is unapparelled in motorsports, there is no one they would rather beat. Neither has been particularly successful in Triple Crown rounds this year, however, and Jett could lose his advantage in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona under that format.

Lawrence is now two wins away from capturing the fourth-most wins at this level.

A rivalry is developing between Lawrence and Cameron McAdoo. Tired of losing to the affable Australian, McAdoo pushed the envelope last week in Seattle. He crowded Lawrence in the whoops during their heat race and sent both to the ground. That frustration could bubble over with four rounds remaining. One thing is certain, when these two riders are in proximity on the track, the cameras will be aimed in their direction.

Supercross 250 Points

A little means a lot this season. Finishing second to Lawrence in four of five rounds, RJ Hampshire would be losing ground to the leader no matter what, but an 11th-place finish in the overall at Anaheim 2 places him eighth on the chart below behind two of the 250 West riders and five 250 East competitors.

In the mains, Levi Kitchen has been all over the board with a win, one more top-five, two results on the high side of the single digits and a crash-induced 21st at San Diego. He’s really shown his speed in the heats, however, with a perfect record of top-fives and a win.

Mitchell Oldenburg makes the top five list among West riders with a perfect record of top-10 finishes. He’s heading in the wrong direction, however, falling from ninth overall to 11th after finishing outside the top five in both his heat and the Main last week.

250 Rankings

Rider Power
1. Jett Lawrence – W 90.75 2 1
2. Hunter Lawrence – E 90.43 1 -1
3. Nate Thrasher – E 84.00 3 0
4. Cameron McAdoo – W 80.50 4 0
5. Haiden Deegan – E 78.21 5 0
6. Jeremy Martin – E 78.00 6 0
7. Jordon Smith – E 76.77 7 0
8. RJ Hampshire – W 76.75 10 2
9. Levi Kitchen – W 76.67 8 -1
10. Max Anstie – E 74.43 11 1
11. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 73.67 9 -2
12. Max Vohland – W 72.55 13 1
13. Tom Vialle – E 72.07 12 -1
14. Pierce Brown – W 68.64 19 5
15. Enzo Lopes – W 67.83 17 2
16. Chris Blose – E 67.43 15 -1
17. Chance Hymas – E 67.10 16 -1
18. Michael Mosiman – E 65.80 18 0
19. Stilez Robertson – W 64.45 14 -5
20. Phil Nicoletti – W 59.25 20 0

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days for the 450 class and last 90 days for 250s (because of the split nature of their season).

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 10 AT SEATTLE: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Cooper Webb
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage