Filling a Sports Void During a Pandemic

Filling a Sports Void During a Pandemic

North Dakota

Filling a Sports Void During a Pandemic

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Last Tuesday, I was having a conversation with a co-worker of mine, and we were discussing the possibility of having a sports free fall. I replied with, “you’ll have to commit me to the mental health ward if we don’t have football in the fall.”

With the current state of the world and the recent uptick in positive COVID-19 test results, there’s a possibility we might not have sports in the fall, let alone a Stanley Cup playoff. Seriously, no one knows where this is going? There’s too much uncertainty. I am beginning to think we might not have a 2020 Stanley Cup Champion.

There’s Hope

While you can’t watch a hockey, basketball, or baseball game, you can watch dirt track racing on a various number of web-based broadcasts. Also, numerous tracks in the Midwest and the South have returned to their regular racing programs. Some of these tracks are still using the CDC guidelines for the number of fans and social distancing.

On May 8, 2020, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars series raced at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, albeit without any fans in the stands. Not a single one. From the safety of their own homes, thousands of race fans logged in on Dirtvision to watch the race.

While I don’t have a financial stake in Dirtvision, it really is an economical option that allows race fans an option to watch races all over the county without ever leaving the comfort of your home. For $39.00 dollars a month you can watch the World of Outlaws Morton Building Late Models and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.

Last week, during  a World of Outlaws sprint car race in Knoxville, IA, fans were allowed in the pits after the race. Some will say that we’re opening up too fast.

I guess we’ll soon find out.

NASCAR Up and Running

NASCAR returned to racing after a two month hiatus on May 17, 2020, and like the World of Outlaws, they raced without any fans in the stands. Again, not a single seat had a body sitting in it. Kevin Harvick stood in front of an empty grand stand and thanked the emergency workers

“I‘m just really honored and really thankful for all of our front-line workers, not only our doctors but grocery stores, truck drivers, fire fighters, police departments — you name it,” Harvick said. “All of you front-line workers are the reason that we‘re here today and our country is actually still running.”

Since the historic May 8th race, the World of Outlaws have competed in 10 other races. So far, I haven’t heard of a single driver or crew member testing positive for COVID-19. World of Outlaw drivers and their crew are tested as they enter the track grounds.

Today, this story broke on the official NASCAR web page.

From the NASCAR world: “Stewart-Haas Racing has experienced two positive COVID-19 test results, neither of which involve personnel who travel to race events. Robust protocols have been in place and continue to be followed diligently to mitigate the spread of the virus while maintaining the health and safety of all members of the organization and greater community.”

So far, none of the crew or drivers have tested positive.

Recently, NASCAR started to allow a limited number of fans/guests in the stands. We’ll see how this shakes out as we go through the summer.

Starting tonight, the feature will be live on CBS Sports Network – the first time the World of Outlaws has been live on national television since 2012 – at 8 p.m. (CT). The entire event will be broadcasted live on DIRTVision, too.

This will be the first time that both World of Outlaw series will compete at the same event outside of the World Finals.

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