SEEKONK SPEEDWAY RE-OPENING PLAN: STEPS ONE & TWO COMING THIS MONTH
Seekonk Speedway is happy to announce our reopening plan as we prepare for a different kind of racing season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic! We have been working diligently with local government and health officials to prepare the safest plan for everyone involved in the Seekonk Speedway family. Our plan is broken down into six concrete steps that have the safety and well-being of all of our patrons as the top priority.
Simply put, race fans will not be allowed back in the stands as quickly as we would like, however we are excited to be working towards that goal. It will be a calculated process with the safety of everyone as top priority. Seekonk Speedway takes pride in the fact that the Massachusetts reopening advisory board, including Governor Charlie Baker, is allowing the first two steps of the plan to take the green flag.
The next lap begins next week. The long winter is almost over.
Step one and two, to be completed during the month of June ( Phase Two of the Commonwealths Reopening Plan), will only include private track rentals and practice sessions. Seekonk Speedway is hopeful, that if all goes well, and coronavirus numbers continue on the downward trend, we can begin racing Fast Friday nights, without fans in attendance, starting in July. With the current plan, the opening date of Saturday night racing would hopefully be just a few weeks behind that — when we hope to get a limited amount of fans into the stands to watch our great competitors battle it out under the lights.
Saturday night teams and outside touring series divisions are all welcome during step one of the reopening process but are encouraged to recognize that all race dates that are planned for the future are tentative and subject to change based on additional guidance from the state of Massachusetts. There is no absolute guarantee at this time we will have race competition as planned, but we are confident in what we are hearing from a state level and ready to open the facility to begin preparations.
Seekonk Speedway is looking forward to setting up a whole new schedule for the 2020 season — one that will include a 2020 Summer Series for all eight of our divisions. More details will be released once available. Sponsorships are available for each division and sponsors interested are encouraged to contact the office. We will personally connect with all track sponsors for 2020 soon to discuss options on the table.
STEP ONE: PRIVATE TRACK RENTALS: TO BEGIN DURING PHASE TWO
Step one in the reopening plan will be private track rentals, which will begin next week, in accordance with the second phase of the reopening of Massachusetts, per Governor Charlie Baker. Any safe race car is welcome to attend track rentals. Crews will be limited to five total people — including the driver. All rentals can be booked by contacting the track office during normal business hours. All race teams must complete pre-payment and give a list of five people who will be attending the track rental. No exceptions will be made to this rule, so we can continue to follow a safe guidance given by the state of Massachusetts and town of Seekonk. Five and Ten car rental packages are available, teams are encouraged to join together and attend the same session if they are in the same division to help keep a consistent flow of cars on and off the track.
As part of step one, cars will be spaced apart in the pit area, and all social distancing and foot traffic protocols must be followed. Temperature checks will be conducted on all persons entering the practice sessions and all patrons will be required to wear mandated face coverings by the state of Massachusetts to maintain the safety of all. Pre-registration and pre-payment is mandatory. No concession stands will be open during this time in accordance with guidelines given to restaurants in the state of Massachusetts. There will be no exceptions to any of these rules. Please recognize that patrons must follow them at all times in order to be gained admission to the Seekonk Speedway.
STEP TWO: PRACTICE SESSIONS FOR FAST FRIDAY DIVISIONS
As part of step two, practice sessions will be held for Fast Friday divisions only with a cap of 50 cars per practice session. Similar to track rentals, all teams must complete pre-registration and pre-payment to be able to attend. A max of five people per crew will be put in place including the driver. There will no exceptions to any of these rules to keep our patrons safe. Temperature checks will be done for these sessions as well.
For these sessions, cars will be spaced apart with one pit stall in between each trailer. All foot traffic will follow set guidelines for traffic flow to keep everyone safe and apart, practicing social distancing. All persons will be required to wear all mandated PPE by the state of Massachusetts.
These Fast Friday practices will be in anticipation of beginning the Fast Friday season, without fans, in July, as long as all coronavirus numbers continue to trend downwards and additional guidance is released by the state of Massachusetts.
Step three includes the opening of the Fast Friday season in Phase Three of Massachusetts Reopening Plan with no fans in attendance, while Phase Four would include the opener of the Saturday Night Weekly Racing Series season. Additional opportunities that could begin the Saturday night season earlier would only be available pending sponsorship. Additional details regarding these steps will be produced once available and these dates are tentative, pending additional guidance by the state. The Speedway is currently working on a racing schedule that would make the best use of the limited season we have available once we are allowed to fully reopen.
Seekonk Speedway will begin the Fast Friday racing season without fans in the stands as we work towards safely getting towards that goal of having fans in attendance. At this current time there are no plans to race the Saturday Night divisions without fans in attendance as its just doesn’t make financial sense to do so. The Speedway is optimistic that it will be allowed fans on a limited basis as the COVID trends continue to go down to safer levels.
Seekonk Speedway is continuing to hold out hope that it will be able to return to Thrill Show Racing at some point this year, but that will be dictated by the State and Town officials as to when bigger crowds can safely enter the stadium.
As with every other business in the commonwealth, this plan aligns with all safety protocols provided by the Massachusetts reopening board and local town officials. Our top priority will be to keep all patrons safe for every event during the 2020 season.
Seekonk Speedway wishes to thank State Representative and former NASCAR competitor Jim Hawkins, State Representative Steven Howitt, State Senator Paul Feeney and the Town of Seekonk for their assistance and guidance in the re-opening of Seekonk Speedway. We would also like to thank Governor Charlie Baker for his guidance that has helped keep the residents of Massachusetts safe while we slowly re-open the commonwealth.
Make no mistake, this plan will not be a rapid layout of getting back to racing with fans in the stands starting next week. Instead, it will be a safe, calculated process that will keep everyone safe and give everyone the chance to hit the track in 2020 in a timely fashion.