As Josh Berry said on Saturday night, “enough is enough.”
Ace Speedway, singled out by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, was forced by a court today to shut down, days after the governor declared the facility an “imminent hazard” to public safety.
Let’s get this straight. A racetrack, outdoors, where I left with sunburn, is a public safety risk because a virus that direct sunlight kills will spread.
Nevermind the packed beaches, or the crowd of protesters thousands deep, or the indoor restaurants allowed to be open at 50% capacity, Ace Speedway is the problem.
Enough is enough.
The fact is, the coronavirus, which has a less than one percent mortality rate, will be here with us until there is a vaccine. There will be mutations of it. It will be a part of our everyday life. So, are we going to stay shut down another year? Forever?
There is no doubt this year has been out of The Twilight Zone. A global pandemic, a severe economic recession, and civil unrest dominate the headlines, and Americans, now more than ever, need a distraction. Thankfully, father and son Robert and Jason Turner provided us with that distraction for three weeks before raising the ire of Governor Roy Cooper.
Thank you, Robert and Jason. Someone needed to stand up to this governor. Keep fighting. This sport is grateful.
Their methods may have been unorthodox. On Saturday night, they placed a sign at the speedway entrance stating the event was a protest – which has drawn criticism in its own right, most recently from veteran motorsports journalist Matt Weaver.
The truth is, the way certain businesses are being singled out and forced to close may not be a social injustice but it is an economic one, and Saturday’s race should have been seen as a protest. There should be more “protests” like it.
After all, dirt tracks and drag strips across the state have operated freely and without scrutiny until now. It was Ace Speedway that was singled out because Ace Speedway made the most noise in standing up for their rights as business owners.
For those who think this is too political, let’s not forget that this sport was born on rebellion, moonshine runners outrunning the law. Robert and Jason Turner emerged recently as modern-day moonshine runners, fighting the system. Unfortunately, the law won, for now.
For those who are fans of Star Wars, consider this development the second act of the original saga, The Empire Strikes Back. In the third act, Return of the Jedi, the good guys won. And the Turners are the good guys.
Hopefully, we’ll be back at the track again soon. Until then, thank you, Robert and Jason, for fighting for us and for providing us a distraction from the real-life Twilight Zone.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Andy Marquis is the managing editor of Race22, a registered Democrat and a donor to the Joe Biden presidential campaign. The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Mr. Marquis.