NASCAR not considering making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory

26 April 2021 - 12:48 By Reuters
Ryan Preece, driver of the #37 Kroger/Reese's Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25 in Alabama.
Ryan Preece, driver of the #37 Kroger/Reese's Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25 in Alabama.
Image: James Gilbert/Getty Images

NASCAR will continue to encourage its drivers to get Covid-19 vaccinations through those who have already had their shots, but making it mandatory would be a "slippery slope", said its president Steve Phelps.

Bubba Wallace, the only black driver in NASCAR, recently addressed the hesitancy of some of his fellow drivers to get vaccinated after receiving his doses, and Phelps said it was important for the company, the sport and the country.

"As it relates to the driver corps, you'll probably see more. We'll ask the drivers to try to help promote the vaccination process. They have a voice," Phelps told reporters ahead of Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway.

"That voice carries a lot of weight to the degree that we can help with folks who are uncertain about whether they want to get the vaccine. It would be critical to have those with the loudest voice within the sport talking about vaccinations."

US President Joe Biden is enlisting the help of groups as varied as NASCAR and the NAACP as part of a multi-billion dollar effort to convince Americans to be vaccinated.

American media reported that IndyCar requires its drivers and crew to be vaccinated or return negative tests daily during the Indy 500 week. 

"We'll continue to monitor and change our policy as necessary to make sure people are safe," Phelps said.

"The number of people who are in this garage who have been vaccinated continues to steadily rise." 


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