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Charlotte brings normal to NASCAR Cup Series going forward

NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson drives in the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Charlotte...
NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson drives in the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., Sunday, May 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)(Nell Redmond | AP)
Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 3:59 PM EDT
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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Motor Speedway delivered perhaps the most normal weekend since NASCAR returned from its COVID-19 shutdown.

There was practice, qualifying, some 50,000 fans in the stands and a Hendrick Motorsports driver taking the checkered flag. Car owner Rick Hendrick said it just felt like NASCAR was back. NASCAR shut down in March 2020 for several months due to COVID-19. When drivers got back on the track, they did it without fans at first, then with small crowds that were just a fraction of the number that normally attended.

Drivers and race organizers believe NASCAR’s momentum will continue this summer.

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