WEST PORTSMOUTH — Apparently — yet unfortunately — the game of red light, yellow light and green light goes on at Portsmouth Raceway Park.
That’s because, per PRP’s Facebook page and a post made on Monday, its scheduled racing card —which was actually to be announced —will not take place at all this coming Saturday night.
Instead, PRP announced that its next scheduled event will be on Aug. 29 — and will feature a complete racing program highlighted by OVSCA 410 Sprints.
The post reads as follows: “Portsmouth Raceway Park will not be racing this Saturday, August 22nd. Our next event will be Saturday, August 29th and will feature a complete racing program consisting of OVSCA 410 Sprints, Late Models, Modifieds, Limited Late Models and Sport Mods.”
Gates will open at 4 p.m., followed by a driver’s meeting at 6 p.m., hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and official racing action under way at 7:30 p.m.
Late Models will pay $2,000 to win — along with $800 for Modifieds, $500 for Limited Late Models and $400 for Sport Mods.
This past week, the night’s admission prices — as well as its revamped schedule — were announced on its Facebook page, as only the $30 pit pass is established for ALL age groups.
The cost is $15 for general admission for ages 13 and older, $5 for ages seven thru 12, and children under six are admitted for free.
Spectators are permitted to attend, but —as per a state of Ohio official mandate — masks MUST be worn and strict social distancing guidelines, in the pits and in the stands, MUST be followed.
Those guidelines at PRP include groups of only 10 people or less, and those groups must sit six-feet away from other groups.
Spectators are asked to remain in their groups, and are required to wear masks.
Individuals must stand six-feet apart in the concession-stand line, hand sanitizer will be randomly placed throughout the facility, and race teams are encouraged to park six-feet apart and are limited to no more than 10 people at a time in their pit area.
The newly-created Ohio Public Health Advisory System — as part of the statewide response to the coronavirus threat — formerly had Scioto County listed as a Level 3 Public Emergency, meaning there is “very high exposure and spread” of the virus and for individuals to “limit activities as much as possible.”
As a result of that Level 3 designation, PRP had been closed since mid-July.
But three weeks back, during Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s “daily” coronavirus press briefing, the new Public Health Emergency map showed Scioto County had improved to a Level 2 —meaning there is “increased exposure and spread” of the virus and for individuals to exercise a “high degree of caution”.
There are four total levels, with presently a dozen counties at a Level 3 — with no counties considered “on watch” for being bumped to the highest and most severe, which is Level 4.
PRP has hosted only three nights of racing all season — its rescheduled opening night on Independence Day and the Dean Knittel Memorial and accompanying undercard on July 10.
The Independence Day slate was PRP’s third full attempt at starting its racing season —with weather and DeWine’s directives denying a start since mid-May.
The original opening night was scheduled for Saturday, May 9 — but because of ferocious thunderstorms on April 8 and with DeWine’s “Stay-At-Home” order still in place, that date suddenly became jeopardized.
In early June, PRP announced that June 27 would serve as its opening night — as all the necessary preparations had been made and details continually posted.
But near noon that Saturday, track personnel made the call to call that night’s card off —as thunderstorms, even some severe, were forecasted for that evening.
PRP was originally scheduled to be off on back-to-back Saturdays of July 11 and July 18, but was set to host racing on July 25 with Weaver’s Gas & Oil OVSCA Sprints.
That night’s card was canceled, as was the Lemley Motorsports-Mod Squad Spectacular for Aug. 1 and the ninth annual Boone Coleman Gator 50 for Aug. 8.
PRP raced a regular card on Aug. 8, and was originally scheduled to be off this past Saturday night (Aug. 15).
PRP promoter Donna Rayburn recently told The Portsmouth Daily Times — for a report which appeared in the July 14 edition of the newspaper — “we will be working with the Scioto County Health Department for a decision on the remainder of our season. Please watch our Facebook page and website —www.portsraceway.com — for updates.”
The PRP racing season is set to conclude on Oct. 15 thru Oct. 17 — with the 40th annual Dirt Track World Championship.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved