The Barstool Fund: What This Means For Seekonk Speedway
BY SOUZA MEDIA/KYLE SOUZA
SEEKONK, Mass. — It’s been just over a week since Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy tweeted a video that rocked the Seekonk Speedway community. For the first time in nearly a year, major positive news surrounding the track was spreading like wildfire on social media.
And it still is today.
As part of The Barstool Fund, Portnoy’s FaceTime call to Seekonk General Manager David Alburn let the track know that the Fund would be assisting Seekonk with funds for the 2021 season — beginning immediately. The Barstool Fund, started by Portnoy, is meant to give donations to help small businesses survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many other businesses, Seekonk Speedway was essentially closed down for 2020 — with no fans entering the grandstands — and only the Fast Friday divisions getting on the track for 10 events. For the first time in the 75-year history of the third-mile oval, the track sat eerily quiet — with no Pro Stocks circling the track for the first time since 1978 and fans blocked from watching action live. All of this was in order to meet safety guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We got your video story about Seekonk Speedway and we want to help you guys out,” Portnoy told Alburn. “I don’t know how you run a race track without fans. We want to make sure you have the funds you need until you guys can ego back to putting people in the stands.”
For Seekonk Speedway, everyone is hoping those fans can return to the stands in 2021, starting with opening day, on Sunday, May 2. Seekonk continues to work with the town of Seekonk and the state of Massachusetts to meet guidelines to make it happen. Further updates will come once available.
However, for the time being — what does the funding from Barstool mean for Seekonk Speedway?
The funds provided will assist in opening costs for the new season, putting further COVID-19 safety protocols in place to keep everyone safe, and assisting with payroll to keep a full staff in place to work for teams and fans. The funding from Barstool will assist Seekonk in taking the next leap forward to celebrate legacy and keep generations of teams, drivers and fans coming back to the track for years to come.
“Awesome. Awesome. This is a great surprise,” Alburn said. “I was hoping I was going to get the opportunity. I can’t thank you guys enough — all of the donators who contributed. I’ve seen it come up so often and knew it was a great opportunity for all businesses.”
Seekonk is moving forward with plans to return to both NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series Saturday night plans, including the Pro Stocks, Late Models, Sportsman and Sport Trucks. Fast Friday will also return, with races running from the end of May through September for the Friday night, entry-level divisions. The season will also include multiple marquee events, including two stops by the Tri Track Open Modified Series, including the annual $10,000 to win Open Wheel Wednesday. The inaugural Bay State Classic, a $10,000 to win Super Late Model race, will take place in July, marked as one of three stops by the Pro All Star Series Super Late Models in 2021. Outside of circle racing, Seekonk also plans to return to Thrill Show action — with two firework displays set for the new season.
If your business is interested in advertising or sponsoring events at Seekonk Speedway in 2021 please contact Ed at email@example.com.
To donate to the Barstool Fund and help small businesses affected by the pandemic please go to https://www.barstoolsports.com/the-barstool-fund
For more information on Seekonk Speedway, and to stay updated on the 2021 season, visit seekonkspeedway.com and follow the track on social media.