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NASCAR returns after 10-week hiatus, Kevin Harvick in empty victory lane

Sports

Kevin Harvick celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, May 17, 2020, in Darlington, S.C. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

DARLINGTON, South Carolina (WKRN) – NASCAR fans have waited 10 long weeks to hear four magical words – “Drivers, start your engines.”

Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway, the wait ended.

After weeks of digital racing, this was finally the real deal. Sort of.

Drivers did start their engines and turned left, but everything outside of that was unrecognizable. Pit crews wore masks and kept their distance, everyone had to go through an extensive screening process that did not include testing and the stands were empty.

It felt different to start, but as soon as engines roared, the sole focus was getting to that checkered flag first. The guy who accomplished that highly-anticipated feat was Kevin Harvick.

NASCAR is trying to make its return as safe as possible by limiting travel, so races will continue to be in areas that are drive-able distances. Sunday’s race was the first of 20 across 7 southern states between now and June 21st.

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