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FORT WORTH, Texas. — IndyCar pressed pause on its 2020 season before it even started because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, three months after the season was supposed to start on the streets of St. Petersburg in Florida, the season will finally get underway on the high banks of Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth this Saturday in prime time in the Genesys 300.

All the drivers are chomping at the bit to get back to real racing after spending a good portion of their time under quarantine in their homes taking part in several iRacing events quenching at least part of their competitive thirst.

Though IndyCar is returning this weekend it will be anything but a normal race weekend. With a brand new aeroscreen that is untested in actual racing conditions (not to mention in night racing conditions), hardly any practice and qualifying time, and even a few rookies who have never raced on an oval before it will certainly be a unique race.

“We’ve got a 30-minute practice for rookies and first-timers at Texas and then straight into an hour and 20 minutes for everyone else,” said five-time series champion Scott Dixon. “We all leave Saturday morning, fly down, do the race, and then leave that same night.”

The rapid-fire schedule is so drivers, team personnel, and media spend as little time as possible at the track in order to lower the chances of spreading the coronavirus. In that same spirit, IndyCar is not allowing fans to be in attendance either.

“You know, it’s not what we want to see, but unfortunately that’s the reality right now,” said Dixon on the Dan Dakich Show. “You know, once you’re driving and you’re in the zone you’re not really looking at that or seeing it as much.”

Rookie drivers in Oliver Askew, Alex Palou, and Rinus Veekay will be thrown in the deep end with this being their first race ever at Texas. For Palou it will be his first time ever competing on an oval.

It will also be the first time drivers will compete in an actual race with the new aeroscreen. The only other experience they have with the aeroscreen is in pre-season testing at Circuit of the Americas in February. That testing was also in daylight. There has been no testing in any capacity to speak of in nighttime conditions.

Green flag for the race drops at 8:00 p.m EDT. Listen to the race live on 93.5 and 107.5 The Fan.