First event of 2020 to be held at Lincoln County Raceway Saturday
On Saturday, the Lincoln County Raceway will host its first event of 2020, and it will be the first event hosted by new promoters Dave and Penny Craft.
"I am very excited, it's been a long wait to get here," said Dave Craft. "I'm also nervous, because I don't know what to expect. I'm more excited than nervous, I would say."
The atmosphere at the track will be a little different than it has been in the past, with social distancing guidelines in effect. The Raceway can hold no more than 550 patrons for the event.
The Crafts have been working hard to get the Raceway ready for this event. Contactless hand soap dispensers have been installed in the bathrooms, sections in the grandstand have been split, markers have been set for social distancing. The Lincoln County Fair Board also installed new concrete near the ticket booth.
The Crafts attempted to set up a pre-purchase of tickets for the event, but every option they tried had too steep of a purchasing fee, so they decided against it. Tickets for the event will go on sale at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Raceway. Tickets can be purchased using cash or cards, and the Raceway will monitor the number of tickets sold, and patrons entering, so they do not exceed maximum occupancy allowed.
"We'll have a count of everybody coming in, even if it's a child that's under five and getting in for free, and we'll watch the ticket count. Once we reach the limit, unfortunately we'll have to stop, and not let anymore folks come in, and we'll do the same thing for the pit area," Dave Craft said.
The event will feature four IMCA race classes, as well as the Colorado Dwarf Cars.. Being the first event the Crafts have hosted in North Platte, they are not sure what to expect for number of cars and fans in attendance.
"Our goal would be between 60 and 80 cars, I think that would be a good turnout for four classes, not counting the dwarf cars," Dave Craft said. "I am cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to bring in the 550 into the grandstands. They'll have lots of room, and hopefully it's a great show."
The most important thing the Crafts want to make sure of, is that everyone is safe and healthy, and encourage anyone who feels sick to stay home.
"The fair board and our sanctioning body has allowed us to extend the season a little bit, so we're going to add a few more shows. So, if folks aren't feeling well, they're a little under the weather, I'd say stay home, make sure you're good and you're feeling okay. There are going to be more races, this isn't a one-and-done type of situation, so if you're not feeling well, stay there," Dave Craft said. "We're going to make sure our folks are healthy, that they're practicing good social distance, that they have face masks. If they're working with the public, we have lots of sanitizer available, all those types of things to create a safe environment, and then from there, we hope the show does the rest."
The pit gates open at 4:00, the grandstand opens at 5:00, hot laps start at 6:00, and races start at 7:00 on Saturday.