After exempting pro sports from stay-at-home order, Florida governor suggests NASCAR race for sake of 'content'

·3 min read

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would be happy to host a NASCAR race in his state sometime soon because he thinks that people need “content” to watch while they’re at home.

DeSantis’ executive order banning all non-essential business in the state exempts professional sports. The caveat most notably applies to the WWE, which will be allowed to continue to film shows at its performance center in the state. But DeSantis would also like it to apply to NASCAR and golf.

“The one thing I do support, I do think we need to support content, especially like sports and events,” DeSantis said at a Tuesday news conference. “And we’re not going to have crowds there, I get that. But if we can do — like if NASCAR does a race and can televise it without having large crowds, I think that’s a good thing. I’d like to see [Tiger] Woods and [Phil] Mickelson do the golf, because that’s social distancing. You wouldn’t have a gallery there, you wouldn’t have crowds, but to put that on TV, I think people have been starved for content. We haven’t had a lot of new content since the middle of March.”

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

A NASCAR race isn’t feasible

The March 22 Cup Series race at Homestead was the second Cup race called off because of the coronavirus pandemic. It would be a natural choice to host a race in the not-so-distant future to fulfill DeSantis’ quest for content.

But that really isn’t possible. Stay-at-home orders in North Carolina mean that NASCAR teams aren’t working right now and NASCAR has banned multiple types of car testing while the series is currently on hiatus. It would be a mad scramble to prep for a Florida race that would run in defiance of other local orders.

It’s also incredibly irresponsible to make hundreds of people travel from North Carolina and any other states to Florida just to host a race. It takes a lot of people to put on a NASCAR race without fans when you consider each team has up to 15 crew members and other assorted support staff. If you’ve ever been on pit road at Homestead (or even Daytona), you’d know just how impossible it is to responsibly socially distance.

NASCAR has also had at least one employee test positive for the coronavirus. The sanctioning body sent a memo to teams in March informing them that a NASCAR employee had tested positive before the Atlanta race weekend was postponed and had possibly been in contact with crew members from various teams. Why would NASCAR want to risk that type of contact again?

The NASCAR season is, at the moment, set to resume on May 24. And even that looks iffy right now based on the continuing spread of the virus. There’s no reason to think there will be a real NASCAR race anytime before then despite DeSantis’ wishes. Maybe someone will tell him there’s a virtual NASCAR race set to be televised on Fox on Sunday.

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

More from Yahoo Sports: