FLORENCE, S.C. — Florence Motor Speedway will host its first racing program of the year, with fans, on Saturday.
Pit passes are $25, $12 for grandstands, $5 for ages 6 through 12, and ages 5-under are free.
Saturday will be the track’s second race of the year after the first, which only allowed race teams in the pit, drew around 400 fans. On Friday, a test-and-tune practice is from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the track (call the track at 843-209-4768 for reservations).
As for Saturday, gates open at 10 a.m. with the first race starting at 7 p.m. Saturday’s events will include:
Dual 30 Lap Late Model /Challenger races.
35 Lap Mini Stock.
25 Lap Low Country Legends.
25 Lap Thunder & Lightening.
15 Lap Grocery Getter/Banger.
Masks are encouraged to be worn, and track owner Charlie Powell said masks will also be on sale for those that don’t have one.
“I decided Friday we would do it, decide to have fans in the grandstands,” Powell said, noting Lake View Motor Speedway and Dillon Motor Speedway have already hosted events with fans in the grandstands. “Nobody yet has sent me a letter or anything, telling me we couldn’t do it. That’s why we posted our intent Friday to have races with fans. That way, city or county authorities had plenty of time to tell us there was a problem and we couldn’t do it.”
Powell said the grandstand seating will be organized where fans can only sit on every other row, and there will be marked social-distance seating for those who are not part of families of up to six people Saturday.
Powell talked about how well the social distancing went the last time the track hosted a race, May 30.
“They tailgated in the infield, there was probably better social distancing there than in most businesses and stores around,” Powell said. “Because we have such a large infield in there, we could have a thousand people in there and still spread them six feet apart.”
Powell said FMS’ grandstands have a capacity of 3,500 fans.
“But we haven’t had 3,500 people in the grandstands for a long time,” Powell said.
At least Saturday is another step forward while searching for some type of normalcy, according to Powell.
“We’ve got to do something,” Powell said. “You can’t just let it stay in limbo and say, ‘Let itself work out.’ Somebody has got to take hold of it. There aren’t many race tracks around. Us promoters who are around are going to have to bite the bullet and put it out there, observe it and see what happens.
“Some of us might not be able to survive, because you’ve got to have participation,” he added. “You’ve got to have people who are going to spend money. It operates that way.”