Lake View Motor Speedway is set to reopen this weekend to begin their 2020 season, nearly two months after its originally-scheduled season-opener on March 21. It is the latest track in South Carolina to reopen, following the footsteps of other Palmetto State facilities that have reopened without the presence of fans.
Lake View Promoter Scott Tripp joined “The Bullring” in advance of Saturday’s opener on Speed51. It has been six months since the Blue Ridge Outlaw Late Models were at the 4/10-mile oval to conclude the 2019 season, and Tripp is ready to finally kick off the 40th Anniversary season at Lake View.
“We’re thankful to the state of South Carolina that they granted us permission to put on this race. With the COVID-19 pandemic there are health and safety concerns with opening these racetracks, and the state is concerned with large gatherings,” Tripp said. “We’ve got permission to open with some restrictions that we have to maintain a healthy and safe atmosphere for everyone.”
Tripp and his track crew have a system in place to admit drivers and teams into the pits for Saturday’s event, having had a test run last weekend for an open test session. He and a private security team were impressed with how the test went, and they feel confident they can do the same for Saturday’s opener.
“The first thing we do is take everybody’s temperature at the gate. We have EMS and ambulance there monitoring that with us. We also have hired a private security firm that is enforcing one of the state guidelines of keeping everybody six feet apart for the social distancing policy. We also require all our race teams to park in every other spot, every hauler has to have a space in between.”
“We had 48 teams here and everybody did a heck of a job, we were so impressed. The security officers came over to me at the end of the night and said, ‘Boy, you’ve got a really good crowd of racers here,’” he added. “Everybody did their jobs, everybody followed protocols, even the security officers were impressed with how we handled it.”
Just like many other tracks around the country, Saturday’s season opener will take place without the presence of fans. He hopes to have fans back at the track as soon as state regulations allow it, but in the meantime is excited to have the event broadcasted live across the country on Speed51.
“Opening your racetrack without any fans in the grandstands is a very tough position for a promoter. We value our fans, they’re everything to our sport. We’re known as a spectator sport. Not having those fans in the grandstands is a real tough situation for us. Racing’s not going to be the same without the fans, I can tell you that. Our goal is to get the fans back in our grandstands as soon as possible.”
After last weekend’s successful test, Tripp is ready to get back to racing. He and his staff feel they can put on a great show while keeping everybody safe.
“It gave me a lot of confidence going into the weekend holding a race with all the teams that are coming this Saturday, that they know what to expect, we’ve got a bit of a system down. We’re excited to be open this Saturday racing more so than ever, and I’m confident we’re going to keep everybody safe.”
The historic South Carolina track is celebrating its 40th Anniversary season in 2020, starting with Saturday’s event. While fans will not be able to attend, a worldwide audience will be able to watch the race on Speed51 for just $10.
Pay-per-view tickets sold for the event will help pay the purse for racers competing in the crowd-less event.
Click here to order your video ticket today to watch all of the racing action from Lake View Motor Speedway on Saturday as part of “Short Track Night in America.”
Watch a replay of Tuesday’s episode of “The Bullring” by clicking here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo