A pair of Jefferson, South Dakota race tracks have announced plans to open their gates this weekend for racing events.
As first reported by KTIV, Park Jefferson International Speedway and Raceway Park will both be hosting racing events, with a limited number of fans in attendance. Park Jefferson’s event is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, with Raceway Park racing on Sunday, April 26.
Park Jefferson International Speedway’s event was limited to 700 tickets, which have already been sold according to a post on their Facebook page. They are also offering a pay-per-view broadcast option for those who were unable to purchase tickets.
The event will feature a 410 Sprint Car feature paying $5,000 to win and an IMCA Modified feature paying $1,000 to win. There will only be 32 cars allowed in each class.
In a statement on the track’s website, Terry McCarl of Front Row Challenge Enterprises stated they have taken every precaution to ensure the safety and legality of this event.
“With everything sitting idle and much of the world in a day-to-day phase, we are excited to bring a little bit of normalcy back to the racing world,” McCarl said. “While it won’t quite be a normal race day, we have been watching South Dakota’s guidelines to ensure we are in line with their mandates and we are extremely excited about racing on April 25th.”
The Raceway Park event is limiting ticket sales to 500 patrons. They have also capped the number of cars entered in the event across five divisions of competition. The entry list on the track’s Facebook page boasts the likes of Kenny Wallace, Ken Schrader and Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Wallace has also shared on Twitter he will be competing in the Park Jefferson event on Saturday.
Allright. We have 2 DIRT races lined up for next week in South Dakota. Saturday and Sunday. I will post all info soon. (STRONG Social Distancing) in place. I am leaving Friday. pic.twitter.com/KM9XibQ2IQ
— Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) April 19, 2020
The Union County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement on its Facebook page, stating they would not take any legal action against either event. They noted that South Dakota State Government has not issued any stay at home order that would prevent such activity, and both tracks are aware of CDC recommendations.
“Union County Sheriff’s Department is aware that both Jefferson, SD racetracks will be racing during the coming weekends,” the statement reads. “South Dakota State Government has not issued any closures of any businesses within the State of South Dakota. The South Dakota State Government has only issued CDC advisories as they pertain to COVID-19.
“With this being said both racetracks are very aware of the CDC recommendations as they pertain to COVID-19. People have a choice to attend these events and are in no way being forced to attend. The Union County Sheriff’s Office will not be taking any legal action against either race track as they are both very aware of the current CDC advisories relating to COVID-19.”
Speed51 will continue our effort to keep you updated on the latest news on COVID-19, as it relates to short track racing.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Park Jefferson International Speedway Facebook