One familiar sound of summer is set to return to Jacksonville this Friday.
The Jacksonville Speedway will hold their season opener Friday at the Morgan County Fairgrounds after the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on all sports activities this spring.
Jacksonville Speedway Track Manager Ken Dobson says they will be following all Phase 4 guidelines including limiting attendance to 20% of it’s capacity.
“We’ve met regularly with the local health department officials and I think we have a plan together that is safe and keep our capacity to where people can spread out and move around the facility and use the restroom and get a bite to eat or drink while maintaining distancing.
Our employees are going to be monitoring that throughout the night. We are just looking for a way for people to come out and be able to watch and get out of the house for once and enjoy a night of racing, but do it in a way that keeps everybody safe and protected.”
Dobson says tickets are on sale now online, and the tickets are emailed instantly upon purchase. He says ticket staff at the track will be utilizing a touchless check-in system to help speed up the process while taking precautions to prevent contact.
Dobson says it’s been tough having to wait until July to hold the season opener, but he feels they have planned well to provide an event that is as safe as possible.
“We’ve been closed for the first half of our season, which typically is the best half of our season from a business point of view. But people are sort of itching to get out of the house and the racers are certainly looking to race.
So we spent a lot of time planning and organizing, and it’s probably way more work that needed but we think we are in a position to be able to return to racing now that the state has allowed it. And in fact we waited a month after it was allowed to just make sure that our T’s were crossed and our I’s were dotted just to make sure we’re doing it the right way.”
Dobson says the field will be a little smaller than usual, but they have what he feels is a great lineup for the return to racing in Morgan County.
“We have kind of our fan favorite sprint car series, the Morrow Brothers Ford MOWA Sprint Car Series racing. We have some big names coming in from around the country. Along with a really talented field of regional racers we get with that. It’s a great series to open with. We will also have our modifieds, our late models and street stocks.
We have four classes Friday. We cut that back just a little bit to make sure that we keep plenty of room to distance in the pit area and don’t get too many people on the premises.”
Tickets can be purchased at https://jacksonvillespeedway.com/
Dobson says hopefully all of the tickets sell, or at least as many as possible, will be ordered online to help promote social distancing and keep everyone safe.