MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Orange County Fair Speedway has announced the cancellation of its schedule event on Aug. 1 due to COVID-19 regulations in the state of New York.
Orange County Fair Speedway has held two live stream only events on July 25 and July 28 with no fans in the stands. However, track officials have determined that events that are live stream only are not sustainable.
“Starting just the day before our Saturday, July 18 show, OCFS received word from the NYS Governor’s office that we were to not allow fans of any kind, even those in our drive-in section,” track officials said in a press release. “The decision was made to forge ahead with racing without fans, and live stream the events on July 25 and 28. We want to thank our fans who purchased the live streams and watched from home, we appreciate your efforts, but despite them, live streaming only for regular Saturday night events is not sustainable.”
Orange County Fair Speedway initially received permission state and local officials to operate with the track’s drive-in section open to fans with social distancing rules in place. However, the state later stepped in and prevented Orange County Fair Speedway and other tracks with drive-in sections to host fans.
“Because of OCFS’s existing drive-in section, and our carefully laid out plans for social distancing, our local county and town officials, with the state’s permission, granted us the approval to open our drive-in,” the track’s press release stated. “Our county executive, Steve Neuhaus and Town of Wallkill Supervisor Frank DenDanto have been our allies in this struggle from day one and continue to lend their support.
“Despite this approval, OCFS was again shut down by the state following the closure of other tracks in upstate New York who opened with their own new drive-in sections. When said tracks felt there was a double standard, the NYS Governor’s office responded with a new shut down that lumps in all dirt tracks in the state, despite the presence of a drive-in section, adequate social distancing or a pre-approval.”
The track has resubmitted plans for the opening of its drive-in section in a limited capacity, which will include social distancing and masked patrons. The state has not reviewed that plan yet, forcing officials to cancel the Aug. 1. event. The track hopes to return to action as soon as the state reviews and, hopefully, approves its plan.