NASCAR zoomed (no, not that Zoom) back into fans' living rooms on Sunday (May 17) with the Real Heroes 400, the first race of a cup series at Darlington Motor Speedway in South Carolina. Blake Shelton was excited, thanking the Lord above for the sport's return, but he also took the chance to take a jab at his buddy Luke Bryan.

Shelton's pick to win, Clint Boyer, and his fellow drivers revved up their engines on Sunday for the first time since March, when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down both professional sports and much of the United States. Darlington Motor Speedway President Kerry Tharp enacted protocols in light of the pandemic in order to make racing safe for the drivers and their teams: Participants were pre-screened for symptoms and their temperatures were taken before they got onto the property, and again after they arrived. Additionally, no fans were allowed to watch the race in person, meaning no one was in the stands.

The Voice coach Shelton took that last fact and ran with it, virtually poking at his American Idol rival and fellow country star Bryan:

NASCAR drivers weren't seeing the crowds, but it's possible that racing is one sport for which spectators' energy doesn't factor into the competition quite as much; with their eyes on the road and pit crews in their ears, drivers have to stay focused. The crowdless, televised race seems like a great compromise to keep fans — like Shelton — happy.

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