Leaders at the Texas Motor Speedway are excited about the return to the racetrack. Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order allows the track to operate at 50 percent capacity this weekend when it hosts the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
“Our sport just lends itself to be able to do this, whereas other sports, football and hockey and basketball, may have some problems because of the physical, body to body contact,” Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage said.
“We have a plan that we developed with the help of medical care professionals. We submitted it to the state, they reviewed it at the Department of Health and they like the plan,” Gossage said. "They agree with this. It’s a good solid plan to make sure we’re taking care of the fans."
The track is taking a number of precautions, including spacing out seats to ensure no one is close to anyone outside their household. Masks are required by anyone 10 years old and older. TMS has posted nearly 10,000 signs reminding fans of the importance of social distancing.
Given the size of the venue, Gossage is hopeful the weekend will be very safe.
“You can fit four-and-a-half footprints of the Cowboys stadium in our infield,” Gossage said. “That’s how big it is.”
Abbott signed off on the race, allowing for fans in a recent executive order.
"Texans are eager for sporting and entertainment events to return, and this is a great step towards that goal," Abbott wrote. "As we continue to open Texas, it is essential that we do so in a way that keeps Texans safe and limits the spread of COVID-19. Texas Motor Speedway has put a tremendous amount of work, time, and energy into ensuring that this race meets all the necessary safety and health standards, and I applaud them for this effort.”
Gossage said as long as fans help them out, things will work out well.
“Do your part and be personally responsible as well and this will be just fine,” Gossage said. “If people will follow directions it will work just fine everybody will be just great.”