(Reuters) - NASCAR on Monday postponed five more races due to the coronavirus outbreak but said it still intends to reschedule them and run all 36 events on its calendar.
The postponements bring to seven the number races cancelled, following last Sunday’s race in Atlanta and this Sunday’s stop in Homestead, Florida.
The series was forced to postpone more races on Monday after the Centers for Disease Control recommendation at the weekend that events of 50 or more people be cancelled for the next eight weeks throughout the United States.
NASCAR said in a statement it hopes to resume racing on May 3 in Martinsville, Virginia.
“The health and safety of our fans, industry and the communities in which we race is our most important priority, so in accordance with recent CDC guidance, NASCAR is currently postponing all race events through May 3rd, with plans to return racing in Martinsville,” said NASCAR.
“We appreciate the patience of our fans and we look forward to returning to the race track.
“We intend to hold all 36 races this season, with future rescheduling soon to be determined as we continue to monitor this situation closely with public health officials and medical experts.”
With a packed schedule that already runs through Nov. 8 NASCAR did not say how it plans to squeeze in every race.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Kim Coghill