At least two drag strips have publicly thrown in the towel for the 2020 season.
Motor Mile Dragway, the multi-purpose facility owned by the Hagan Family, and Saskatchewan International Dragway both announced on Friday there will be no 2020 season for them due to local regulations related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Motor Mile Dragway is located in Radford, Va., where the state is on a stay at home mandate through June 10, 2020.
The closing also includes all special events, including track rentals.
“The number one goal is to keep all employees, racers and fans safe and healthy,” a statement posted to the Motor Mile website said. “With the decision coming early, it gives all racers the opportunity to explore other racing options, should other tracks decide to operate this year. We also value our sponsors and understand that all have faced some economic impact from the virus and will need the remainder of the year to recover financially.”
“This was a difficult decision and one that was not taken lightly,” said Michelle Vaught, General Manager Motor Mile Speedway. “We realize this is an unfortunate turn of events for the local racing community, and we sincerely value each racer and fan. We encourage communities to adhere to the current mandates and protocol; practicing frequent hand washing, social distancing, and staying at home. We appreciate your understanding and support during this challenging time.”
The facility has showcased grassroots NASCAR racing since 1988. In 31 seasons, Motor Mile Speedway has crowned 15 different NASCAR Late Model track champions and has been the home track of two NASCAR Weekly Series national champions on six different occasions: Philip Morris (2006, ’08, ’09) and Lee Pulliam (2012, ’13, ’15).
Motor Mile Dragway has showcased high-speed drag racing action since 2004. In its brief history, Motor Mile Dragway has spawned several successful careers, most notably that of 2011-14 NHRA Funny Car World Champion Matt Hagan. The eighth-mile dragway hosts a variety of seasonal motorsports events, including its wildly popular “Friday Night Fury” program.
Saskatchewan International Dragway wants to be responsible during this challenging time.
“There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the world right now,” a spokesperson for Saskatchewan International Dragway said in a statement on the track’ sd website. “The SDRA executive has discussed how this impacts SIR. We are focused on health – both the physical health of everyone connected to SIR and the financial health of our organization. As such, we have made the very difficult decision to immediately suspend the operation of SIR, which includes the cancellation of the 2020 SIR race season.
“The situation is ever-evolving, and we will continue to monitor it. As we learn more about the timing and impact of COVID-19, we will continue to evaluate our options.”
And right now, there is the belief other tracks are weighing their options along this same line.