Racetracks are not permitted to race; Limits include three cars on track at once
Tri-City Speedway is a racetrack on the Illinois side of St. Louis. The Pontoon Beach, Illinois dirt track has not raced since May 24th.
On the other side of the Mississippi River, I-55 Raceway sits about 45 minutes away from Tri-City Speedway. Yet, the Pevely, Missouri dirt track has been hosting World of Outlaws events, with fans.
That’s stark contrast to the dirt track on the Illinois side of the river. Today, the state of Illinois is moving to Phase 3 in the Reopening of America plan. So, we’re going racing?
All week, Tri-City Speedway was promoting an event, in anticipation that they would be able to open the gates in Phase 3 on Friday.
32 late models and 60 modifeds were on deck for the May 29th event. $2,000 to win was a special payout for the modifieds, boosted by various event sponsors.
General admission tickets were sold in advance. On Tuesday, the track was informed that grandstand general admission was not allowed.
The track elected to continue the event without fans. Refunds were handed out and the event was now a broadcast-only event.
On Thursday, the day ahead of the event, the track was informed that wasn’t allowed in the state of Illinois either…
State of Illinois on Racetracks in Phase 3
Michelle Masoncup, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity clarified racetrack operations for the state of Illinois:
“For clarification for all Illinois racetracks ONLY test & tune events can occur during Phase 3: My understanding is that there was an industry call yesterday and a state employee referred to an activity that was already permitted, he said ‘racing’ but he meant ‘testing cars’. We understand this is a nuisance in terms of your industry and I wanted to clarify. This email is to provide you guidance on compliance with the State’s executive order.
Phase 3 and Racing:
“Racing is not permitted in Phase 3. The executive order limits gatherings to 10 people or less. Races involve large groups of people gathered together, which is not permitted under the order.”
“We are about to enter Phase 3 tomorrow. Moving through the phases depending on the public health data, so we don’t know approximate dates for when the next phase will begin. We cannot provide a specific time frame for when these gatherings can occur.”
“The outdoor recreation guidelines are not applicable to this type of large event which involved hundreds of people assembled. The guidelines, as detailed are for paintball courses or outdoor ranges with no spectators, crews or the sheet volume of people that is involved in racing for your industry.”
Phase 3 – What is permitted: Test and Tune Event Only
-Test and Tune Events, no racing.
-Crew members only, no more than 3 crew members per car.
-30 cars total
-Cars can test with up to 3 cars at a time.
-6 foot social distancing between participants. Following the test, the driver and crew need to return to a specified area that is at least 30 feet apart for others (pit stalls).
-Participants are limited to driver and crew, no one else.
-The testing can occur in time slots.
-Please ensure that no communal gathering area are open, including concession stands.
-Extra sanitation is followed, and no spectators.
-Operator should display signage at entry with face covering guidelines, social distancing guidelines and cleaning protocols, in multiple languages as needed.
-Water fountains, except for touchless water bottle refill stations, should be made unavailable for use.
-Employees, drivers and crew members should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when within 6-ft. of others (cloth masks preferred). Exceptions may be made where accommodations are appropriate.
“Please note that we are working on developing direction for racetracks for race evnets that could occur in Phase 4, under capacity restrictions.”
Tri-City Speedway comments on the canceled event
“Everyone we are so very sorry for the inconvenience we will all work together and move forward and do whatever we can to get our tracks open,” the track said in a statement.
“We would ask all of your to please RESIST the urge to contact Ms. Masoncup who issued this guidance with the typical rants and raves.”
“Our conversations have been pleasant and that our best hope for opening for racing soon is to work with Michelle instead of becoming her arch nemesis and biggest pain in her ass. I know the urge is there – but please let the tracks continue our dialogue without making it harder for us. She is trying to work with,” the track concluded.