After a two month hiatus, NASCAR is ready to rev the engines once again when the NASCAR Cup Series takes to the track at Darlington Raceway on May 17.

When the drivers return to Darlington, they will race without having driven a car since early March or even taking any practice prior to the race.  Qualifying was done on Thursday night via a random draw with Brad Keselowski sitting on the pole.

The Real Heroes 400 will kick off a series of seven races over the next week and a half as NASCAR makes an attempt to return to some semblance of normal…albeit with numerous safety precautions.  Known for its salutes to the military and first responders, on May 17 NASCAR will be paying tribute to all the front line medical workers.

And possibly one of the biggest events of the return to racing is Rocket Man Ryan Newman returns to racing after being involved in a horrific crash at the end of the Daytona 500.

When NASCAR was last on the track…
The Cup series had run only four races with Joey Logano leading the way with two races.  Alex Bowman, and Denny Hamlin have all earned their way into the playoffs with wins.  Denny Hamlin got the year started off by winning the Daytona 500.

While he has yet to win a race, Kevin Harvick sits atop the leader board with 164 points; with Joey Logano one point behind in second, and Chase Elliot in third; Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

NASCAR chose Darlington as the first race back due to its location.  Nearly all of the owners have their team shops in and around the Charlotte area; making Darlington the closest track for the teams who can drive to the track.