Speedway 95 in Hermon will open for the season on Saturday night time at 7 and Del Merritt, who has owned or co-owned the observe since 1968, will take pleasure in relaxed COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Final yr, no followers have been allowed within the grandstands initially, earlier than Gov. Janet Mills and the state allowed as much as 200 later within the season.
On March 26, the restrict was prolonged to 75 p.c capability for outside venues and, on Might 24, full capability can be allowed.
Nevertheless, social distancing remains to be required and those that can’t keep that area are requested to put on face coverings.
The concessions and memento stands and the restrooms within the grandstands can be open. All remained closed final yr. There have been moveable bogs and concessions have been offered within the pits however not the grandstands.
Speedway 95 is one among three inventory automotive race tracks in Maine that may maintain racing on Saturday.
Wiscasset Speedway started its racing season final weekend, whereas Oxford Plains Speedway and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough will start their weekly racing sequence on Saturday.
Wiscasset Raceway splits its racing divisions into two teams with every racing each different weekend. They drop the inexperienced flag at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Merritt stated it’s his understanding that members of the identical family are allowed to take a seat collectively with out the six-foot distancing mandate or face coverings, however others should sit aside or put on masks.
He doesn’t consider Speedway 95 can function safely with 75 p.c spectator capability, however doesn’t anticipate that being a difficulty this week. The power seats 3,000 and it’s anticipated to be a cold, windy Saturday night.
“If we will get 30 p.c, which might be 900, I might be ecstatic,” Merritt stated.
Wacky Wednesday racing for entry stage divisions will start at 7 p.m. on June 9.
Merritt has modified his beginning occasions previously however he stated he’s sticking with 7 p.m. for Saturday and Wednesday racing this season to keep away from any confusion.
Saturday night time racing will contain Late Fashions, Road Shares, Sport 4s and Cage Runners whereas Wacky Wednesday could have Roadrunners, Modified Enduros and Stars of Tomorrow.
“We’re going to have one of many strongest fields of Road Shares within the state,” Merritt stated.
The defending factors champions are Steuben’s Brenton Parritt (Late Fashions), Kenduskeag’s Kris Watson (Road Shares), Frankfort’s Andrew McTague Jr. (Sport-4s), Skowhegan’s Ethann Lyons (Cage Runner), Newburgh’s Jason Trundy (Roadrunners), Norridgewock’s Zach Audet (Modified Enduros) and Dixmont’s Garrit McKee Jr. (Stars of Tomorrow).
The Professional All Stars Collection North tour held races final weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway together with the Honey Badger Bar and Grill 150 Tremendous Late Mannequin race. It was received by Oxford’s Dave Farrington Jr.
Unity Raceway and Spud Speedway in Caribou are each nonetheless up on the market and don’t have any racing dates this season. Unity Raceway proprietor Ralph Nason and Spud Speedway proprietor Troy Haney stated each have had curiosity from potential consumers.
The asking worth for Spud Speedway is $275,000 whereas Nason prefers to not checklist the value of Unity Raceway.
“I believe the observe will change palms this yr,” predicted Nason, who has owned the observe since 1980 and has leased it to a number of people over time.