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Repairs Complete, Abatement Order Lifted at Carteret County Speedway

Track hoping to resume racing soon after being shut down by Governor Roy Cooper’s office in September

Andy Marquis/STS

Track surface repairs have been completed at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway and practice has resumed.  Now, the track is waiting for approval from the State of North Carolina to resume the 2020 season in strict compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

While the track was already prepared to halt the season for track repairs, an order of abatement was issued by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) secretary Mandy Cohen forcing Carteret County Speedway to suspend the season.  The abatement order has since been dismissed and track owner Bob Lowery is working with Governor Roy Cooper and Secretary Cohen’s office on a plan to resume racing before the year ends.

“We would like to thank all of the sponsors, fans, and racers that have stuck by us this year and continue to stick by us during this tough 2020 year,” Lowery said.  “It is our goal to provide a safe, competitive, and family-oriented event venue as soon as allowed.  Being forced to shut down, not only for track repairs but also by the state, we will continue to adhere to all the CDC and NCDHHS regulations and we look forward to not only finishing up the 2020 season but moving full steam ahead in 2021.”

Repairs were made to the track surface in turns one, two, three, and part of turn four.  The repairs were one in a series of improvements that have been or will be made at the Carteret County Speedway entertainment complex.  With the season on hiatus, more time and resources were able to be exhausted into more comprehensive repairs instead of making a quicker repair in-between races.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our team of employees and volunteers for what they’ve done this year for going the extra step,” Lowery continued.  “We are continuing to maintain and upgrade the track during this closure to maintain our standing as the nicest short track in the country.”

Carteret County Speedway will work with NCDHHS, Governor Cooper’s office, and other local and state authorities on a plan to reopen the track for racers and fans within the guidelines and restrictions put in place to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  The speedway is open to racers for practice on Wednesdays and Fridays with social distancing requirements in effect.  The track is also available for rental by race teams, which they can do by calling the track office at (252) 436-7223, and the speedway’s Fast Track Ride Along program will resume, by appointment only, which can also be reserved by calling the speedway office.

“We are eagerly awaiting the opportunity for fans to hear the most famous words in racing, ‘drivers start your engines,” Lowery stated.  “We all await the return to racing.”

Earlier this year, Carteret County Speedway made the decision not to award championship points in anticipation of the possibility of having to suspend the season at any point of time due to the coronavirus pandemic.  While Carteret County Speedway does plan to reopen in 2020, the track is also working on plans for the 2021 season and further facility enhancements.

Marquis comes from St. Charles, Maryland and has a widespread background in journalism, having covered politics in Washington and Maryland as well as nearly every form of auto racing, including NASCAR, IndyCar, AMA Motocross and IHRA Drag Racing. Now living near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Marquis covers Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models in the Carolinas and Virginia.

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