Race tracks have been slowly firing back up over the last week around the country with a dirt Sprint car and Modified race taking place last weekend in South Dakota and just last night a dirt Late Model took place in Brasstown, NC. Asphalt racing has yet to refire engines after the world all but shut down due to the Coronavirus but one South Carolina track’s late evening announcement signals that asphalt racing might not be far away.
Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Easley, SC announced on Thursday, April 30th that they were planning a double-header weekend of racing in just two weeks. They announced via Facebook that they would run Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th splitting their divisions into two separate race events.
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The double-header weekend would see racing in Pure Stocks, 4-cylinder Front Wheel Drives and Limited Late Models on Friday night with the Limiteds taking center stage for 100-laps. Saturday’s schedule would see the return of Late Model Stock Cars for 100-laps after a year-long absence from the track’s schedule. Super Stocks and Renegades would fill out the Saturday card.
Unlike all other races that have taken place up until now, Greenville-Pickens announced that they would allow fans along the backstretch in their trackside parking areas and select other areas with directed parking to ensure social distancing guidelines. The track indicated that additional details would be given later today.
Myrtle Beach Speedway and Dillon Motor Speedway are the only two asphalt tracks to hold races to date in South Carolina and both did so before the Coronavirus spiked and shelter in place orders were put in place around the country. Greenville-Pickens race announcement comes on the same day that Paradise Raceway, a go-kart track in Sellers, SC said that they were shut down after complaints forced local officials to ask them to reschedule.
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However, Paradise Raceway did reschedule their event for Saturday, May 16th. Also this week, Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, SC released an email from the state preventing them from holding events. The letter asks the track to cease operations. Track owner, Ron Barfield, who also manages the Mid-Atlantic Street Stocks (MASS) has a race scheduled for Florence Motor Speedway on May 9th but no word on this race being canceled or postponed.
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On the other side of the spectrum Lancaster Motor Speedway in Lancaster, SC is running an event tonight that will allow a limited number of fans to purchase a pit pass and will provide a stream to DirtonDirt.com subscribers.
It remains to be seen if this event will take place but it hasn’t been canceled as of publishing time. Obviously the differences in how each event inside the same state has been treated has created confusion among racers and race fans alike but it’s quite evident that it won’t be long before racing roars back to life in the state of South Carolina.
Cover photo by Kimberly Austin.