First, NASCAR returned to the track. Even without fans, it whet the appetite of racing fans in the midst of a sports-less world.

The action comes even closer to home on Saturday, as the Lawton Speedway is open for the first time this season.

But unlike NASCAR, fans will be allowed, even though the stands are only allowed to be filled at 50-percent capacity.

Gates open at 4 p.m. and races start at 7:30 p.m.

The racing season for Lawton Speedway was supposed to start on March 21. There had already had a practice session. But soon after, the speedway — along with most of the world — had to shut down.

Speedway promoter Marcy Davis said she got the green light to reopen from the City of Lawton last Tuesday, and said the plan was to start back up last weekend before weather interfered. Finally, this Saturday, engines will roar once again. And Davis said the drivers are more than ready, as she has received calls from drivers from Nebraska, Arkansas and all corners of Texas hungry for the opportunity to race.

“All these guys have been getting ready all winter,” Davis said. “They’re just dying to get out there to race.”

Of course, there it won’t exactly be business as usual, with only half the number of tickets available. Davis said she doesn’t necessarily expect it to be an issue, stating that at 50-percent occupancy, about 2,600 people could sit in the front spectator grandstands alone.

“There’s plenty of room if we space out,” Davis said. “And that’s all we can do is ask them to do that. There’s no law on it.”

Guests will also be asked to follow standard social distancing guidelines and procedures, with bleacher grandstand seating limited to every other row. Guests will be asked to sit with their “family groups” and distance their groups at least 6 feet from adjacent groups. Reserve seating area will be limited to every other row with two empty seats between family groups. Wearing facial covering is recommended.

The protocol isn’t limited to the crowd, as race teams will be required to space out in pit area, with no one allowed in the pit other than those that came with the team.

For more information, call the Lawton Speedway at 355-6417.

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