NC speedway delays race citing weather as Cooper’s office urges sheriff to prevent mass gathering

North Carolina news

ELON, N.C. (WGHP) – Ace Speedway won’t be hosting a race on Friday, but it’s not because of the governor’s office rebuked the race track’s “flagrant” violations of coronavirus restrictions.

That means the county will need to wait one more day to see if county law enforcement or the race track decides to heed Gov. Roy Cooper’s pleas.

At about 2 p.m. Friday, Ace Speedway announced that the CARS Tour Race at Ace 125 would be rescheduled for Saturday.

Hours earlier on Friday, Cooper’s office issued a letter urging Alamance County officials to prevent the racetrack from hosting future events that violate the Phase 2 reopening executive order meant to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

“To date, it appears that some Alamance County officials have not sought to enforce the order against ACE Speedway, notwithstanding that, as further explained below, ACE Speedway has continuously and flagrantly violated the plain and unambiguous language of the Phase 2 Order,” the letter, signed by General Counsel William Kinney, said. “These violations pose a serious risk to the health of people in Alamance County and throughout the State.”

The Phase 2 order restricts public gatherings to no more than 25 people in outdoor spaces like stadiums and racetracks.

The letter says news outlets reported that more than 2,550 people attended a May 23 event at the race track, more than 100 times the allowable number.

The governor called that event “dangerous and reckless.” ACE Speedway then held another race on May 30.

“Enforcement of the Phase 2 Order against ACE Speedway is critical because Burlington, which is in Alamance County, has one of the highest average daily growth rates of coronavirus deaths in the country and recently topped the list with the number of COVID-19 deaths doubling every 6.7 days,” the letter said.

The letter includes a formal request to Alamance County Commission and Sheriff Johnson to take all the necessary steps to require ACE Speedway to comply with the order.

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