Asphalt oval racing will return to south Texas after COVID-19 crisis
HOUSTON, Texas (April 20, 2020) — As the nation’s current stay-at-home mandates affect our daily lives and have put life as we once knew it on hold, one Texas short track promoter is reaching out to racers to offer words of encouragement and explain what happens after when the ‘All Clear’ sounds.
Houston Motorsports Park (HMP) oval track promoter and Texas Short Track Racing Series (TSTRS) general manager Gina Schild-Knowles knows what racers across south Texas are feeling in strange times.
“I don’t want our racers to lose faith or any momentum they carried from last year,” SchildKnowles said on a video message posted on YouTube. “We all just need to do what we need to do to stay safe. The better we all are at adhering to social distancing guidelines, the sooner we’ll all be back at the race track.”
Schild-Knowles says the key to making it through this crisis is a thing called communication.
“I want our racers to reach out to one another during these tough times,” she added. “If you know of somebody who needs some help in the shop or a few tools, try to lend a helping hand. We’re all in this deal together; and together – we’ll all get through it. I understand it isn’t easy to ask for help.”
When it comes down to the 2020 schedule itself, Schild-Knowles says there have been changes.
“I have no plans to shorten the season, but I have had to restructure the event schedule a bit,” she explained. “And since this virus situation is changing almost day-by-day, I can’t honestly put a specific date on when we’ll reopen. Yet we still plan to race the number of races we had planned.
“We might be racing in August now, which we hadn’t planned on doing at first. We will probably be racing twice a month, consistently through October. I do not plan to race at all in November, I don’t want to interfere with plans for the Snowball Derby or for our deer hunters.”
While some in the industry think we’ll get that ‘All Clear’ bell soon, some have reservations.
“NASCAR’s date to go back racing as of now is May 3,” Schild-Knowles said. “That applies to us, since we’re NASCAR sanctioned now. I have a feeling that will be pushed back, but we all just need to focus on the positive right now. When the danger to public health has passed, we’ll go back racing.”
As a wise promoter with racing in her blood (her father, Larry Schild and uncle, Jerry Schild were both racers), Schild-Knowles says racers can actually use this down time to their advantage.
“For now, just focus on that car you’re building,” she told her racers. “You have extra time to find that speed, that little extra something you never had time for before now. Use this time to be more prepared for when we do get the ‘All Clear,’ and it will pay off in the end.”
About Texas Short Track Racing Series
The Texas Short Track Racing Series is an asphalt oval racing series based in Houston, Texas, competing at Houston Motorsports Park. Texas Asphalt Racing Promotions, LLC, manages advertising and sponsorship opportunities for the series.
To learn more, follow the series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/texasshorttrackracing/. Fans who love NASCAR and short tracks should also bookmark www.NASCARHouston.com to stay abreast of the latest news as it happens.
About Houston Motorsports Park
Houston Motorsports Park is an auto racing complex that includes a 3/8 mile NASCARsanctioned paved oval and an NHRA-sanctioned 1/8 mile drag strip. For more information, please go to www.houstonmotorsportspark.com.
– Houston Motorsports Park Press Release
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