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Auto Racing Gets The OK To Return To CNY This Week

Auto Racing

By Dick O’Brien

Five Upstate New York dirt tracks are scheduled to host races this week without spectators in attendance, marking the start of the 2020 auto racing season after it was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Engines will rev up at 7 Wednesday night at Utica-Rome Speedway with a DIRT crate sportsman/pro stock twinbill.

Track owner Bill Shea said he received clearance to begin racing on a Tuesday afternoon call with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. No spectators will be allowed to attend the race, but Shea said the governor’s office told him fans could return to the stands later this month.

“I got a call from Andrew Cuomo’s office Tuesday afternoon giving us the official OK to run Wednesday night without spectators,” Shea said. “They also said we could expect to allow fans in later this month if the virus numbers stay low.”

Four other dirt tracks across Upstate are preparing to run races this week. Outlaw Speedway, Can-Am Speedway, Canandaigua and Thunder Mountain have all scheduled programs. Some facilities plan to stream their events on a pay-per-view basis.

Outlaw Speedway will run its regular five-division program Friday night, topped off with a $2,000-to-win test for big-block modifieds. Can-Am Speedway in LaFargeville will also start Friday with a 358 modified, sportsman and pro stock program on the North Country track.

Thunder Mountain Speedway, north of Binghamton, has a Saturday night racing card headlined by 358 modifieds. Fans will be allowed to watch from their cars parked between the third and fourth turns.

The Land of Legends Speedway in Canandaigua has a pair of shows set for Saturday night and Tuesday. DIRT big-block modifieds headline both programs.

Downstate, the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown has a show set for Saturday as well. Fans will be allowed to view the racing from their cars in the drive-in section above the backstretch of the half-mile oval.

Advance Local Media LLC| June 6, 2020

By Dick O’Brien