CONCORD, NH (WWLP)- New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced on Thursday that small race tracks in the state of New Hampshire can open at 50 percent capacity for fans starting on Monday.
Sununu did say a plan was being worked on for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as that race has been rescheduled to August 2 to decide what will be for fan capacity.
Many race fans and teams from the Western Massachusetts Region head to the Granite State to see the different race tracks.
Barry Gray out of Belchertown races in the Granite State Pro Stock Series where the series races at New Hampshire tracks and all over New England. Gray told 22News how important it is for everyone to get back.
“I think it’s important for everybody to be able to get back to racing and fans being able to come in the stands and see racing. It’s been a long offseason. Fans are the most important part of our sport. Without fans you have no sport,” Gray said.
Tim Wenzel of Holyoke will be racing in the Street Stock division at Monadnock Speedway this season. Back on June 5, he raced at Claremont Motorsports Park. The race was held with no fans. He told 22News that it was definitely different having no fans there.
“When your there and you’re not in the car on the track, it’s definitely feels different when you look over and there is nobody in the grandstands. Once your in the car and you’re making laps that kind of goes all out the window,” Wenzel said.
“I am just happy just for all the tracks and everybody up in New Hampshire just to be able to open up and having a place to race.”
Gray also raced in the Granite State Pro Stock Series season opener at Claremont Motorsports Park last Friday. He said it was crazy.
“To be able to look across the track and see nobody there, this is just very unprecedented in racing because that what it’s all about is the fans,” Gray said.
Jeff Asselin out of Granby races in the Mini Stock division. He told 22News how ecstatic he was to hear the news about returning to the tracks. He called everyone including his sponsors to let them know that he would be racing.
“I was prepared for the worse. I was starting to think July. It seems like a bonus we got it to come earlier. We only missed I believe seven races out of the season so far. I guess it could’ve been worse,” Asselin said.
Brian Chapin out of Palmer races in the NHSTRA Modifieds at Monadnock. He told 22News it’s excitement along with some relief.
“It’s a little bit of everything. We were waiting to come back and run and now it’s on,” Chapin said.
Mike Parks promoter of Claremont Motorsports Park told 22News it’s something they’ve been working towards
“We’re prepared. We’re ready to follow the guidelines the state put towards. Will move forward. It’s a little quicker than I thought. I really thought we would be early July before we could. Will be ready. We’re working on our schedule now and will move forward,” Parks said.
Monadnock Speedway General Manager Michelle Cloutier told 22News fans can purchase tickets online through the tracks website for their races. Fans are encourage to purchase tickets online for their first two events of the season with the limited capacity. Race teams in the pit area will be parking their trailers in every other spot in the pit area.
White Mountain Motorsports Park held the American Canadian Tour season opener this weekend with fans at 50 percent capacity. Jimmy Hebert out of Vermont took down the win. New Salem’s Tom Carey, III finished the race in eighth.
Fans will get to see plenty of racing action this weekend with many tracks to choose from
In the Granite State. Claremont Motorsports Park in Claremont, NH and Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH will race on Friday night with a regular division program. Claremont will have the EXIT Realty Pro Truck Series on Friday night.
Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH will have their regular divisions on Saturday along with the Pro 4 Modifieds. Star Speedway in Epping, NH will race with their regular divisions on Saturday.
White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, NH will have racing on Saturday and Sunday. Their regular divisions will race on Saturday and the Pro All Star Series Super Late Models along with the PASS Mods and the Honey Badger Street Stocks will race on Sunday.
Hudson Speedway in Hudson, NH will also kick off their season on Sunday.