Lucas Oil Raceway welcomes limited fans back for 2nd weekend in a row of NHRA drag racing with masks required
‘All eyes are on us’
By Lindsay Doty
The booming engines, the exhaust-perfumed air, and the sight of drag racing drivers and fans (in masks) back at the track. It feels good to Lucas Oil Raceway General Manager Kasey Coler.
Last weekend, Lucas Oil Raceway made a return to motorsports by hosting the nationally-televised NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The raceway will host another NHRA racing event this weekend (July 18-19).
Both events have a limited number of fans with tickets restricted to NHRA members and 2020 U.S. Nationals ticket holders.
Everyone is required to wear a mask.
“We took a step to require facial coverings. As things played out, it was not only the right call but it’s something we are moving forward on,” says Coler. “It was one thing to have employees or the competitive component, but the fans. We were blown away to see them all wear facial coverage. They wore them throughout the day. They did a really good job.”
Other guidelines include temperature checks upon entry and social distancing six feet apart. With back-to-back weekends of nationally-televised races, other tracks are looking to see how things can work in a time of COVID-19.
“There are a lot of eyes on us,” said Coler.
“Nationally, other municipalities and states are looking to host NHRA asking could they do it in a safe manner. Not just for fans and drivers but the community.
We feel we have been able to prove that this (July 11-12) last weekend.”
While the track has been open since June, the NHRA races are the first large-scale fan events to be held there since the pandemic.
NHRA drag racing chose to resume its 2020 season at Lucas Oil Raceway with limited tickets.
“We’re excited for our Mello Yello Series to return to action, not just for the racers and fans but also for everyone who loves and supports NHRA Drag Racing,” said NHRA President Glen Cromwell.
“Because we are an outdoor sport, we feel comfortable opening these Indianapolis events to a limited number of fans who are the lifeblood of our sport and following the guidance of the state of Indiana to resume racing.”
For a raceway that sat dormant for several months during what would have been the busiest time for motorsports, Lucas Oil Raceway insiders are happy to be back at the track.
“You feel proud. Everyone in the industry has pulled together in the same direction to do this for racing,” said Coler.