CHICO, Calif. --
The 70th anniversary of the Silver Dollar Speedway is in the books after they hosted its' Gold Cup Race of Champions Friday night.
Speedway officials said they didn’t want to cancel despite Coronavirus concerns and recommendations
"We’re eager to go and nobody seems to be worried about it the same as people are at the national level," said Co-Promoter of Silver Dollar Speedway Lowell Moural. "I kind of fall into that category myself. I don’t think in an outdoor environment like this that it will be, it will have very little effect.”
According to ticket booth personnel 235 tickets were sold on site. That number does not include online purchases or the 55 racers and their crews.
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued guidance and told people to postpone or cancel mass gatherings of 250 people or more. Friday afternoon, Butte County Health said they support this directive.
"I believe all Butte County residents understand the importance of limiting close contact for non-essential events especially to protect our most vulnerable populations," said Dr. Andy Miller.
That did not stop race car’s most loyal fans from coming out on opening night.
"I've been doing this since I was little, since like 1974, so it’s 46 years of me coming out and doing this and these are some of my favorite people, so I couldn’t imagine starting my March any other way. I wash my hands when I go to the bathroom. We’re all good,“ said one fan.
Fans were instructed to sit six feet away from eachother.
"I know they only let 250 people in tonight, but I think it’s a joke to be honest with you," said fan John Winslow. "If you’re going to get sick, you’re going to get sick, what are you going to do, go hide in the bathroom. No, I can’t."
The Speedway said after Friday night’s races they will shut down until April 3 due to Coronavirus concerns.
“I mean it’s good to be cautious of what’s going on, but I wish they would keep it going somewhat. But if you have to be cautious I understand," said fan Kyle Calvert. "I’m just going to miss it."
As for the final races this month at the Silver Dollar Speedway: Justyn Cox took Silver Cup A-Main victory. Ryan Winter won Dwarf Car Main. Blake Carrick won B-Main.