NASCAR notified its staff Tuesday that the stock-car racing company will be reducing salaries across the board. This is to minimize the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the organization, according to the Associated Press.
NASCAR President Steve Phelps sent a memo to all employees informing them of the pay cuts. Series presidents, which include presidents of NASCAR-owned tracks, will see a 25% reduction in salary. All other employee salaries will drop by 20%.
In addition, budget expenses and capital improvements have also been frozen. Employees were encouraged to use one week of vacation within the next five weeks. This was to help alleviate the financial burden caused by the suspension.
Phelps did not take the decision to reduce salaries lightly. He said, “These decisions are difficult but necessary for the health of our company as we work through this crisis and address the long-term business needs of our sport.”
“With the temporary postponement of our season and the impact the coronavirus is having on every part of our business, we will have to adjust our operations in several significant ways,” Phelps added. “We are trying to minimize expenses until we can get back to doing what we do best — holding great race events for our fans.”
Currently, the NASCAR series is suspended until at least May 9. Phelps has promised that all seven of the elite Cup Series races that have been postponed will be rescheduled. NASCAR’s goal is to run a full season without missing a single race.
NASCAR is teaming up with Fox Sports to air virtual racing with professional drivers “behind the wheel.”
NASCAR leveraged its popular iRacing Series in order to give racing fans something to cheer about Sunday afternoon. The inaugural eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race on March 22 drew over 900,000 viewers on FS1. It was the highest-rated esports event on TV.
A total of 35 professional drivers participated in the esports event. The race took place at the virtual 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Dixie Vodka 150. Denny Hamlin slipped past Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the last corner to claim the virtual victory.
Fox Sports announced Wednesday that it’s “committing to coverage of the remainder of the season, beginning Sunday, March 29, at 1:00 PM ET live from virtual Texas Motor Speedway.”
The network also said the races “will be simulcast on the FOX broadcast network, FS1 and the FOX Sports app” as well as FOX Sports Racing in Canada.