ROSSBURG, Ohio — The 37th edition of the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway will not take place this season.
World of Outlaws and Eldora Speedway officials made the news official Friday evening, confirming that the Ohio Department of Health’s orders restricting mass gatherings and spectator events at large venues remains in effect as a part of the state’s overall response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
The event was originally scheduled for July 15-18.
“Governor Mike DeWine text me to deliver the unfortunate news,” said Roger Slack, general manager of Eldora Speedway said in a World of Outlaws press release. “While acknowledging the importance of our events, especially for Darke County, he stated the orders in place continue to prohibit spectators from motorsports events.
“As we’ve said all along, the fastest way for our race fans to return to the track is for each of us to practice social distancing, wear our masks or cloth face coverings, and practice good hygiene – especially by frequently washing our hands.
“We remain in constant communication with state officials regarding other upcoming events at Eldora as we work to bring fans back to our facility as soon and as safely as possible, all while adhering to the mandates issued by the Ohio Department of Health.”
In the World of Outlaws press release, Eldora Speedway and World of Outlaws officials say they worked together to submit a detailed proposal to Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Darke County General Health District, for the return of spectator events at 50 percent capacity during the months of July and August.
The proposal included key learnings from Eldora’s lone race of the season, a restricted-access competitor-only contest, the Dirt Late Model Stream, held June 4-6. The non-spectator event operated in accordance with a strict Event Protocol developed by Eldora in concert with the world’s top motorsports sanctioning bodies which was reviewed and approved by both the Darke County General Health District and the Ohio Department of Health.
With the encouragement of state officials, Eldora extended its self-imposed deadline to announce a decision on the Kings Royal from June 19 to June 24. When the date passed without approval from state officials, Eldora submitted a “Restart/Reseat Reserved Seat Map” further reducing capacity to just 17.76 percent and submitted it to Governor DeWine Thursday morning.
However, with the Ohio Department of Health’s current orders and with reopening guidance yet to be established by Responsible RestartOhio, spectators remain prohibited from grandstands at Ohio’s large venues – including Eldora Speedway.
Race fans should retain all tickets, credentials, passes and receipts they have received to date for the 37th Kings Royal Weekend. All advance tickets, pit passes, campsites and suite admissions for the 37th Kings Royal will be honored for the rescheduled date in July 2021.
There has been no update on the status of the Eldora Dirt Derby NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series event, which is scheduled for July 29-30 at Eldora Speedway.