Chris Estrada

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IMSA: July 4 race at Daytona will have limited crowd; masks required

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Daytona International Speedway announced Tuesday that up to 5,000 fans will be permitted to attend the IMSA WeatherTech Championship race July 4.

All guests must be residents of Florida and adhere to multiple safety protocols. They include temperature checks before entering the venue, required wearing of face coverings and social distancing at 6 feet between traveling parties.

Seating will be made available in the frontstretch grandstands. The track also will host a limited number of infield camping guests in Turns 1 and 2.

This will be the first IMSA race since the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. The series went on hiatus after the 2020 season opener because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Daytona will become the latest NASCAR-affiliated track to play host to fans. Homestead-Miami Speedway had a crowd of 1,000 military personnel, first responders and their families, and NASCAR announced last week that 5,000 would be allowed Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Bristol Motor Speedway announced Monday night that it would have up to 30,000 for the All-Star Race on July 15.

Here is Daytona International Speedway’s statement on having fans at the IMSA race:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 16, 2020) – Officials at Daytona International Speedway announced today a plan to introduce a return of fans to the iconic venue for the sports car classic IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA on Saturday, July 4.

Working closely with public health officials and local, state and federal authorities on amended safety protocols and procedures, the Speedway will offer a limited number of fans – up to 5,000 – to attend the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA with available seating in  the frontstretch grandstands, as well as a limited number of infield camping guests. All must be Florida residents, and will adhere to social distancing guidelines.

This IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA, part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, will be showcased on the 3.56-mile high-banked tri-oval/infield road course. The highly anticipated event will take the green flag at 6:05 pm ET on Independence Day and end under the lights. The limited camping spots will be located in NASCAR’s Turns 1 & 2 areas of the infield (GEICO Grounds Yellow RV and Yellow Premium RV), near the Carousel Turn. Those fans will be required to watch the race from their RV site.

The IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA is the first event in IMSA’s return to racing in 2020.

For ticketing information on the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA, fans are urged to visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PIT-SHOP.

“We’ve waited a long time to welcome our loyal race fans back to Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona Beach area,” said Chip Wile, DIS President. “There has been a lot of work and extensive planning by our track staff, IMSA, government and health officials, as well as NASCAR to methodically bring fans back to our historic facility. Rest assured we will make sure that every fan in attendance is safe and can enjoy the excitement of the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA. Having the IMSA sports cars back for this summer tradition just got more exciting with fans here to see it.”

All guests who attend the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA will be screened before entering the facility, required to wear face coverings and maintain six-feet of social distancing throughout the venue.

The IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA brings a midsummer IMSA race back to Daytona International Speedway after a 10-year hiatus. The 2 hour, 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech 240 At DAYTONA will consist of three WeatherTech Championship classes – Daytona Prototype (DPi), GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD). Daytona previously held summer sports car events from 1967-1985, 2000, and 2002-2010.

The last IMSA summer race at Daytona was in 2010 when co-drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas were victorious in a BMW Riley. This year’s event will be televised live on NBCSN.