Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) said it would pursue legal action after it said Bandimere Speedway violated a public health order with its Fourth of July celebration over the weekend and Wednesday morning they were in court for a preliminary injunction hearing.
The hearing began at 8 a.m. (MT) and lasted all day, but there was no decision made yet on Jefferson County’s request for a temporary injunction against Bandimere Speedway, which is in Morrison, Colo., 20 minutes from Denver. A second day of testimony is scheduled for Thursday.
In this case Judge Tamara Russell will rule on the injunction request. If the county attorney wants to push ahead with a contempt citation. claiming violation of a temporary restraining order, over last weekend’s show, that will require a separate hearing.
The county wants the speedway to be required to submit a COVID-19 safety plan for each event it hosts.
John Bandimere and his attorney put the proceedings in stark terms saying the very future of the racetrack, which has been hosting races for 63 years, was at stake. Supporters and detractors were outside the courthouse, some holding signs.
Last Saturday, there was an impressive Fourth of July fireworks display along with races at Bandimere Speedway. But the county’s health director testified that a public order was violated by unmasked fans standing close together.
Instead of the 175-person maximum, there were more like 7,500. The venue holds 23,000 spectators.
Randy Corporan, the attorney for the speedway, told reporters the 175 number is unrealistic.
“Those numbers the county is talking about, 175 per activity, there’s no way it can survive,” he said.
He argued in court that there were signs directing patrons to be socially distant and sit in alternating rows. He suggested that instead of a court order, they should sit down with the health department and work out a mutual agreement. The county told the court it found health precautions taken on July 4th to be inadequate.
Speedway owner John Bandimere Junior told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger he is putting his faith where he always does, “You know I put my trust in the Lord, he is in control.”
In the latest revision of the NHRA Mello Yello Series national event schedule – the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway are slated for Aug. 7-9.
— Jon Glasgow (@Glasgow_Reports) July 8, 2020