AIS track ready to resume racing

Adirondack Speedway

A few weeks ago, there was uncertainty on whether Adirondack International Speedway would even have a season. But now fans are clamoring for the green flag to drop.

The New Bremen-based circuit has since said it will have racing this season after there was concern that a 2020 schedule would be canceled after former general manager Frank Nortz, who was leasing the track, stepped away after a disagreement over the handling of different aspects of the facility.

Todd Thomas stepped in just under a month ago to take over and put together an abbreviated schedule. He has confirmed the track will host some events this season, but will run some special events first before regular racing returns.

“We’re going to have the enduros and demolition derbies first,” Thomas said. “It’s a lot of work to switch over between the racing and derby setups.”

The demolition derbies have been regular parts of area county fairs but both the Jefferson and Lewis county fairs were canceled due the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve got 100 people that wanted to register,” Thomas said. “It’s nice to see there’s a demand for it.”

Adirondack is one of three asphalt tracks in the area, along with Evans Mills Raceway Park and Oswego Speedway. Any fans lobbying to return to Adirondack to watch races will have to wait until Thomas gets word from government officials.

“I’ll tell the fans the same thing that I’ve said thing since the beginning and that’s we’re just waiting on word from the governor (Andrew Cuomo),” Thomas said.

However, Thomas has been talking to Lewis County officials to make sure he is setting up for racing in the right way amid COVID-19 regulations.

“I got a lot of help from the Lewis County Department of Health,” Thomas said. “They gave me a lot of answers on what I can do and what I can’t do.”

Can-Am Speedway in LaFargeville has held racing twice since June 5 without spectators. People have been able to see the action via pay-per-view live streams on the Dirt Track Digest website for $19.99. The track plans to run another race without fans at 7 tonight before it hopes to allow fans into the facility for the prestigious Pabst Shootout on July 1.

New York state is expected to enter Phase 4 of its plan to reopen in late June. That would allow tracks, as well as movie theaters, museums and other recreational venues to reopen.

Racing circuits like the Lucas Oil Dirt series have raced in front of fans in the past month in places like South Carolina.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Reporter/Agate Person

A lifelong resident of Northern New York. Dan graduated from Lyme Central School and attended SUNY Oswego. He's worked in all forms of media, including radio and print. Dan covers hockey, wrestling, track and field, tennis, volleyball and golf.

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