By Jon Budler
The sound of roaring engines, the thrill of the chase and the lights over the night sky: Dirt track racing is back in the first state, with racing fans allowed in the stands for the first time since the pandemic shut-down.
Two of Southern Delaware’s premier racing venues, Georgetown Speedway and Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, has reopened for race fans since closure. Georgetown Speedway held its first races on June 13, while Delaware International Speedway returns with races on Friday and Saturday (June 20 and 21).
Georgetown Speedway reopened on Saturday in front of a large crowd, with everyone closely following social distancing guidelines. The event featured 148 racecars in the pit area, with Rick Laubach winning the L&J Sheet Metal Modified Feature – one of seven races during the Deron Rust Memorial event.
Georgetown Speedway Promoter Brett Deyo says it’s been a rough start to the year because to the pandemic shutdown, but racing is back.
“It’s been tough for us because we are a seasonal business,” Deyo says. “We only run 12 events a year so we’ve already lost April and May events and pushed our Monster Truck events until the last week of September tentatively. It’s been tough for us.”
Deyo adds that the state allowed the track to reopen with specific rules, including the placement of hand sanitizer stations around the venue. Families can sit together as a group but required to leave space between different groups to maintain social distancing.
In a news release, Delaware International Speedway says it is required to follow the same guidelines by the state.
“As a part of the agreement for opening with the State of Delaware the following social distancing measures are still in place, masks must be worn by all spectators at both facilities, fans must socially distance when entering/exiting any part of the facility with other spectators, and groups of fans who are not of the same household shall be socially distanced by at least 6 feet in all spectator seating areas. This will be enforced by track officials.”
Racing fans are encouraged to follow both websites for upcoming events and schedules at https://www.delawareracing.com/DirtTrack/ and http://www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com/