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Stock and drag racing

Start your engines? Track seasons set for late-spring starts

By Holly Vanorse Spicer | Mar 19, 2020

While the ongoing global health pandemic COVID-19, or coronavirus, has been the cause for cancellations, suspensions or delays of seasons, one sport potentially may get under way somewhat on schedule.

Maine's auto racing tracks, and drag-race strips, typically do not begin their seasons until late spring, running through the summer, and wrap in early fall.

Late spring for an avid race fan is a painfully late start, especially when one gets to watch NASCAR auto and truck racing, or NHRA drag racing on the television starting in February (although even some of that recently has disappeared).

This year, the many late-April and early-May starts could work to the fans', racers' and event organizers' benefits, but, as has been demonstrated, things surrounding coronavirus can quickly change the best laid plans.

Winterport Dragway is set to hit the strip on Sunday, May 10 for its opening day.

Speedway 95 in Hermon will race to their opening day on Saturday, May 9.

Wiscasset Speedway is set to begin racing for their Group 2 division on Saturday, April 25. There have not been announcements regarding a possible delay for opening day.

Oxford Plains Speedway is scheduled to start racing on Sunday, April 26, with a practice day on Saturday, April 25. However, Oxford Plains has released the following statement for fans and drivers:

"The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) have been monitoring the situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. We understand the situation is a serious one both locally and around the world. We also realize the situation is a fluid one, with circumstances changing by the day — and sometimes by the hour.

"People have already started to ask us what the status is of our scheduled season-opening events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on April 17-18 and Oxford Plains Speedway on April 25-26. The reality is that, due to the fluidness of the situation, we are in 'wait-and-see' mode just like our teams and fans. That being said, we take the health of our teams and fans seriously, and we will ultimately do what's best in that regard. We also will abide by whatever local and federal executive orders regarding social gatherings are still in place come mid-to-late-April.

"Both ACT and PASS have been speaking with relevant experts and authorities regarding the situation. We will continue to take guidance from these authorities and will know more as we get closer to the scheduled dates.

"We wish we had more to tell you, but as everyone has seen, circumstances can and will change quickly during these times. For the sake of everyone, we hope the COVID-19 threat passes sooner rather than later so people can resume their regular lives. In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see everyone at the race track soon."

The Maine Vintage Race Car Association has announced the Maine Motorsports Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony that was scheduled for April 18 has been moved to June 28.

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