Motorsports: Race track opens as ‘peaceful protest’ to defy ban

Ace Speedway played host to a Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour race on Saturday night despite Governor Roy Cooper’s ban on outdoor gatherings, doing so as a “peaceful protest”.

Ace Speedway, located in Altamahaw, North Carolina, hosted a Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour race with fans in attendance on Saturday evening, even though North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper had banned outdoor gatherings with more than 25 individuals as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Democratic governor’s general counsel stated in a letter to Alamanace County that an event with more than 25 people would pose “a serious risk to the health of people in Alamance County and throughout the state”, according to WXII-TV. This is in accordance with Cooper’s executive order on phase two of reopening the state.

But the 0.4-mile (0.644-kilometer) oval held Saturday night’s event, doing so under the guise of a “peaceful protest”. Outside of the track, a sign read: “This event is held in peaceful protest of injustice and inequality everywhere.”

There were more than 2,000 fans in attendance for this event.

This “peaceful protest” comes as hundreds of thousands of people across the United States have taken to the streets to protest racism and police brutality, even as social gatherings (supposedly) remain largely banned due to the threat of COVID-19. Of course, it almost goes without saying that this particular event had nothing to do with those specific issues that have dominated the headlines in recent weeks.

However, the idea of “peacefully protesting” the limitations on social gatherings isn’t too far off the mark and is actually quite creative, given that many people have been cooped up for the last three-plus months.

Motorsports have already returned across the United States, most notably with the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Truck Series having run a combined 12 races at four tracks, including North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway, going back to Sunday, May 17 and with IndyCar having returned on Saturday evening at Texas Motor Speedway.

Formula 1 is scheduled to get their 2020 season underway on Sunday, July 5 in Austria.

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But fans have not been in attendance for any of these races, and it is unclear when motorsports will open up the tracks to the general public again — unless, of course, NASCAR starts “peacefully protesting” a la Ace Speedway.

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