Apr 28, 2020 - Sports

South Dakota race could provide a blueprint for sports' coronavirus restart

Photo: Jim Steffens/Getty Images

On Saturday evening in South Dakota, IMCA Racing treated us to Open Wheel Nationals — a real, live sporting event and a sight for sore eyes.

Why it matters: With sports mostly on pause since mid-March, this small, dirt track event in North Sioux City offered a potential blueprint for successfully restarting sporting events across the country.

The state of play: There have been just seven confirmed cases of coronavirus in Park Jefferson International Speedway's county, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem never issued a stay-at-home order, making the circumstances for this event favorable compared to other parts of the country.

  • The stands at the Speedway were empty, and all 64 teams were capped at 10 people, including driver, crew and family.
  • Pit crews were separated by at least 10 feet, masks and temperature checks were required before entering the track and positions were computer generated, eschewing the standard "pill draw" (think: choosing tiles from a Scrabble bag).

What they're saying: NASCAR and IndyCar have postponed their May races, and while they've both attempted to fill the void with iRacing, at least one writer has finally reached his breaking point:

"I can't cover [iRacing] events the same way as real races anymore. It makes me feel a bit guilty to say that, because a lot of people have worked hard to make iRacing on television a suitable replacement for actual racing ... but after four of these things ... I'm sorry. I just can't do it."
— Jeff Gluck, The Athletic

Highlights: Races lasted just a few minutes due to the short track, and were action-packed and highly entertaining.

Go deeper: ESPN hit hardest after coronavirus shuts down live sports

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Increased armed presence planned for D.C. tonight

Demonstrators stand around a fire during a protest near the White House in response to the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Government officials say plans are in place for a significantly heavier armed presence on the streets of Washington, D.C. tonight in response to the increasingly violent protests linked to the death of George Floyd.

What we're hearing: "Tonight you will see increased presence, both police...other agencies, and National Guard presence," a source familiar with the government's plans said.

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,226,408 — Total deaths: 373,973 — Total recoveries — 2,672,161Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,799,747 — Total deaths: 104,702 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.

New York City to impose curfew amid ongoing protests

Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York City will be placed under curfew on Monday from 11pm until 5am Tuesday morning following days of protests over the death of George Floyd, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The big picture: Demonstrations in New York, like in cities across the country, turned violent over the weekend as protesters clashed with police late into the night. The number of police officers on the streets of New York will double from 4,000 to 8,000.