NASCAR will begin its 2021 season the way it ended 2020, with limited fans in attendance for the opener at the Daytona 500.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Daytona International Speedway announced on Wednesday the track will host a limited number of fans for the 63rd Daytona 500, the season-opener of the NASCAR Cup Series season scheduled for 14th February.
The track did not provide an exact number of fans that could attend but said it would work to accommodate fans that have already purchased tickets for the event.
To ensure social distancing between groups who will be in attendance, many fans will be reseated in new locations. The reseating process is expected to be complete by early January.
"The Daytona 500 is one of the greatest spectacles in all of sports, and fans from all over the world converge in Daytona Beach to be a part of motorsport's biggest day," said Daytona International Speedway president Chip Wile.
"While we won't be able to have a capacity crowd here in February, we are excited that we can host the Daytona 500 with those in attendance, as well as for the millions who will tune in live on Fox.
"The 'Great American Race' will once again have the aura and atmosphere that fans have come to know and love. From the pageantry of our pre-race festivities to the rumble of 40 engines roaring around the high banks, it's the biggest stage in motorsports."
All guests will be screened before entering the facility and will be required to wear face coverings while maintaining six feet social distancing throughout their visit.
Last month, NASCAR president Steve Phelps said it was an "extraordinary achievement" that all three of its categories have been able to complete a full season in 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
"The year has been extraordinary - it's just unprecedented in the history of our country, in the history of sports, and certainly in the history of our sport," Phelps said. "I would suggest this is the single most difficult year that we've faced as a sport."