Dirt tracks continue to operate as Coronavirus brings 2,000+ new cases to the United States in a single day
Update: Tri-County Speedway will not run this weekend
As the country continues to shutdown at a rapid rate, dirt tracks continue to show resistance in doing so.
Last weekend, three Pennsylvanian dirt tracks continued to operate during the COVID-19 crisis. This came despite a guideline from the PA and federal government limiting large groups.
Those three tracks: Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA), Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA) and Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA) have all canceled events for this coming weekend.
Now, two more tracks in Georgia and Alabama are set to open the gates.
Tri-County Speedway is South Alabama’s newest 1/4-mile oval. The track is located in Flomaton, AL.
On Tuesday, Alabama Department of Public Health added guidelines limiting gatherings of 25 persons or more where a six-foot distance cannot be maintained.
As of mid-day Wednesday, there are 47 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of Alabama.
Hartwell Speedway is a 3/8-mile clay oval. The track is located in Hartwell, Georgia.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has closed all public schools. However, there’s no limit on public gatherings in the state, despite common sense.
The city of Atlanta, Georgia posted a limit on gatherings of 250. That limit was later reduced to 50.
As of mid-day Wednesday, there are 197 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia.
The United States reported 2,000 new cases of the Coronavirus on Wednesday alone. It’s the single highest jump since the outbreak began within US borders.
Both of these tracks are scheduled to run this weekend.
Tri-County Speedway statement
Track officials posted the following on Wednesday:
“There are a lot of moving parts in play to make this weekend happen, here’s our game plan going forward.:
“Friday night, practice will begin at 6. There is no running order, first come and first serve at the stop and go. Pit passes are $10, grand stand admission is free.”
“On Saturday, all drivers need to be there, and signed in by 5 PM. Without exception, our track packing will commence at 5:30 PM Saturday.”
“On a side note, you’re also more than welcome to camp out Friday night or leave your rigs after practice that night. Hot laps have to begin @ 6PM sharp, and racing will begin at 7PM sharp. No intermission, last heats roll off… first feature needs to be at the stop and go.”
602 Late Models, Street stock, Pure Stock, Modified, 604 Late models, Sling shots and Bomber Stingers are on deck.
“Please exercise common sense and use caution and courtesy. Hand sanitizer is there and available, as well as multiple rest rooms that stay clean and sanitized. Wash your hands, limit physical contact, and most importantly, if you’re sick stay home. “
“Thanks to everyone who’s ready to race and see some good racing. We’re so very blessed to have you all and can’t wait to get the weekend started. God Bless and we hope to see you Friday and Saturday night.”
Hartwell Speedway statement
Hartwell Speedway posted the following update:
“Just got of the phone with Marty and it is official Hartwell Speedway WILL BE OPEN THIS SATURDAY MARCH 21ST.”
“We are back in action this weekend with another full race program plus open wheel modified’s so get ready, because we are ready to sling a little dirt at Hartwell Speedway.”
Limited $1,000 to win *Crate 8 or more), Open Wheel Modified, Hobby 602, Modified, Stock V8, Stock Four, Young Guns and Up Front classes are on deck.
Gates open at 4PM with racing at 6:30. Grandstands $12 – Seniors $10- Kids 10 and under free – Trackside $20 – Pits $30
If this isn’t the most irresponsible thing you could possibly do. Put it right up there with the spring breakers who were packed on the beaches of Florida.
“If you’re sick, stay home.”
That motto doesn’t work so well with a virus that doesn’t show symptoms to many. It also doesn’t work when people can go between 3-14 days before symptoms arise (depending on which data you look at from various countries) yet they’re still contagious .
These tracks will certainly pack the stands. They’ll be the only race tracks that I know of throwing the green flag this weekend.
But, there’s a reason nobody else is throwing the green flag for several weeks.
Tri-County Speedway received a call from the governors office on Tuesday. Following that call, the track has elected not to run their race this weekend.