STOKES COUNTY, N.C. — Race track owners are revving up their efforts to protest Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order limiting fans in their stands.
Mike Fulp, owner of 311 Speedway in Stokes County, recently announced a protest race this weekend on the track’s Facebook page.
“I’ve had to struggle just to get it right where I’m at right now,” Fulp said.
With a can of spray paint, he marked off every other row in the grandstand Friday to enforce social distancing and prepare for Saturday’s race.
“The last three races we did, we ran without fans,” Fulp said.
Fulp is running out of options to keep his track and his livelihood running.
“I’ve lost about $20,000 a month and $5,000 a race,” Fulp said.
Fulp plans to follow most CDC recommendations in terms of social distancing, sanitation and face coverings, but he will not limit the crowds.
“We’d just like to get people out in protest to open this country back up,” he said.
He expects 400 fans to fill the stands Saturday which is a direct violation of the state’s executive order.
“We just hope that we can have a voice and express our feelings,” Fulp said.
No one at the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office or the Health Department has contacted Fulp since he announced this weekend’s race.
He realizes there’s a good chance of getting shut down but he’s not giving up without a fight.
“We just have to keep on trying,” Fulp said.
Piedmont Dragway is also planning on racing this weekend. FOX8 spoke to the general manager of the track Friday and when we asked if they were doing anything differently since ACE was shut down, we were told, “No comment.”