NC Governor Roy Cooper has taken action following multiple warnings to the North Carolina race track
Three weekends in a row, Ace Speedway packed the grandstands in Altamahaw, North Carolina. Just last weekend, they welcomes the CARS Tour event and called the race a ‘peaceful protest’.
At the same time, the state of North Carolina is in Phase 2 of a reopening plan. That limits indoor gatherings to just 10 people while 25 are allowed for outdoor events.
The North Carolina race track packed thousands into the stands.
That has had the attention of the Governor’s office for weeks. They have reached out to the local sheriff, sending letters that have requested multiple of the recent events be canceled. They were not.
On Monday, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper announced that if Alamance County government officials couldn’t force the closure of Ace Speedway, the state would step in.
Also on Monday night, Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson again stated that he did not intend to stop the crowds from entering the speedway. He noted that other tracks in the state had been operating as normal.
Ace Speedway ordered to close by the state
True to his word, Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services have ordered Ace Speedway to close. That close is forced as of Tuesday at 5PM.
The health department sent an 8 page order, forcing the closure of the track.
“The Ace Speedway facility shall be closed immediately as an imminent hazard,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state health department wrote in the abatement order.
“Ace Speedway shall not allow any spectators to enter or attend the facility while it is closed under this order.”
“We needed to take this action because mass gatherings do spread the virus,” Cohen said Tuesday. “It was irresponsible for them to keep operating in the way they were doing with people shoulder to shoulder, no face coverings.”
“Ace Speedway and its owners and operators have not complied with, and have openly defied, the provisions of Executive Order No. 141. By operating without social distancing measures and out of compliance with mass gathering and large sport venue limitations.”
NASCAR submitted a large plan to the state which allowed races to be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The health department is requesting a similar plan from Ace Speedway if they intend to open.
“We are wanting to work with folks to find ways to resume activities,” Cohen added Tuesday. “A lot of the other short tracks and raceways around the state have worked with us. Ace Speedway continually, despite the fact that we have reached out and they know about the order asking them to come into compliance, they did not work with us.”
Phase 2 will expire at 5 p.m. on June 26. The speedway was required to confirm their closure to the state by Tuesday at 5PM.
The next events at the speedway were scheduled for June 13 and June 19.