By Marty Gordon
Motor Mile speedway and dragway are not immune to concerns over coronavirus, and this week officials announced an adjustment to their upcoming schedules.
In a prepared statement, the Motor Mile facility said it would suspend the start of its 2020 season until at least May 15.
Track management will make every effort to reschedule all speedway and dragway events affected by this scheduling adjustment, according to PR Director J.W. Martin. He said management will continue to monitor state and federal developments regarding event gatherings.
“We will take necessary action if state and/or federal directives require further adjustments to our calendar of events,” he said.
In December, the facility announced it would continue to expand on its successful IHRA-sanctioned Bracket Racing Series format at the dragway in addition to its flagship Friday Night Fury program.
The announcement came two years after Motor Mile officials shut down racing on the paved oval. The NASCAR-sanctioned events returned in 2019.
Alongside the Late Model headliners, support divisions competing this season include Limited Sportsman, Super Street, MOD-4 and UCAR. Motor Mile Speedway has contacted NASCAR about renewing its sanctioning agreement for the 2019 season.
“I have been impressed by the persistence of the racers,” explained Motor Mile Speedway & Dragway owner David Hagan. “While the concerns that led to the suspension of our racing program in 2018 were justified, assurances of racer and fan support have persuaded me to move forward for 2019.
“Many changes will be coming. For instance, a soft-sided, six-pack-sized cooler will be allowed for race events. We will be implementing a no-smoking policy, although the speedway and dragway will each have one designated smoking area. Ultimately, our mission in 2019 will be to improve the family experience,” Hagan added.
The decision to revitalize Motor Mile Speedway’s racing program follows a pair of exploratory meetings between track ownership and race teams. The ongoing process has afforded race teams unprecedented input in shaping the revamped divisions competing at the track next season.
“This announcement is the result of a lot of behind-the-scenes work involving track management and members of the local racing community. There has been an outpouring of interest in reviving our racing program, and we have been receptive to the opinions of those who are determined to make racing successful,” said Motor Mile Speedway & Dragway General Manager Michelle Vaught. “With the continued support of our fans, teams and sponsors, 2019 will mark the start of a new era of motorsports entertainment in our region.”
Third-generation racer Bryan Reedy of Daleville has served as a representative of the Late Model division during racing program deliberations.
“I think the meetings have been good. Having David [Hagan] involved has been a huge thing. Having him back at the forefront is a huge positive for the race track and the racers,” said Reedy.
Announcements will be published on www.motormilespeedway.com, www.motormiledragway.com, and social media if any further scheduling adjustments are required.
“Motor Mile Speedway & Dragway appreciates the support of its racing communities, and we ask for understanding as we navigate the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19,” Martin said.