STAFFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — After months of waiting, race car drivers returned to Stafford Motor Speedway Saturday.
“It’s been a lonely place for a couple of months. Now, we’re excited to get back to racing,” one racer said.
They were on the track just to practice, but it was worth the wait.
“When I heard that we were gonna be coming back today I think they announced it last week that was just amazing news honestly because the last couple months its been kind of uncertain,” Alexandra Fearn said.
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“Here we are in mid to late June and we’re still not on the track yet but were itching and were ready to go,” Teddy Hodgon said.
Same with the crews back in the pits working on cars and making last-minute adjustments. Most of the teams haven’t been on a track since last fall.
Fearn said she might be a little nervous, but driving a car is like riding a bike.
“Once you do it once you just keep doing it,” Fearn said, “It’s like learning to walk for us drivers. “It’s something as easy as that it might not seem that way but it’s instinct to us.”
Hodgon is jumping up a class this year; he did some racing this spring but he says the new ride will be an adjustment.
“Just trying to get used to everything, you know, new car, new chassis, a lot of new parts and pieces that I have to get used to finding my rhythm,” Hodgon said.
So drivers are now returning to the track but what about the fans? Officials here at Stafford Motor Speedway have worked with the state and they have a plan.
“We’re requiring masks anywhere you’re in a public area,” Paul Arute said. “If you’re out and about around the property the mask is on at all times. We have signage all over the place.”
The speedway can normally host about 10,000 people—but during this pandemic, they will keep the capacity at about 25%, which comes to around 2,500 in the stands.
Arute said, “There will be plenty of space for you to spread you in your group. Obviously you can still sit with your friends and family. You want to have a good time.”
“The fans are huge when you see them going by the front stretch there its really cool to see all the fans there and it’s unfortunate that we can only have so many,” Hodgon said.
Fearn said, “I feel that everyone should come out here have a good time, this is something that we’ve all been waiting for and if you’re new to the sport come check it out.”
Stafford Speedway’s first race of the year is scheduled for Friday, June 26.