Indianapolis Speedrome hosts races at 25% capacity

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INDIANAPOLIS — The cars ran flat out 100% at Indianapolis Speedrome on the city’s eastside Saturday night, it was the stands that were only one quarter full.

The Marion County Public Health Department fined the Speedrome $1,000 this week after social media video of last weekend’s races showed packed stands and few face masks among the fans.

“I think the health department is picking and choosing its fights,” said race fan Alex Waters as he entered the track with a bandanna slung around his neck. “I been into a half dozen gas stations around the county. Not a single one of them cares whether you wear a mask or not. None of that.

“I think people are getting fed up, tired of being told what to do by the government, and they’re coming out here, and they’re going to support local business.”

A track official told CBS4 he expected a visit from public health officials to confirm the Speedrome was complying with orders set in place to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Earlier in the week, a fire marshal visited the track to estimate its capacity for the first time, and then divided that number by four, ordering the Speedrome to sell only 25% of its available seats.

“Man, I think they should leave it up to the people,” said race fan Mike Kirlin. “If you’re sick, wear a mask. If you aint, you should be free to do what you want, and businesses should be free to say, ‘Hey, you should wear a mask,’ or not, and it should be up to the people.”

To compensate for the mandated smaller crowd, track officials charged all attendees over the age of 2 a full price $10 ticket.

Typically, during other races when social distancing and face mask requirements were not enforced this summer, race fans under the age of 12 attended free.

“You know what, I would pay a couple extra bucks if they keep fining them a thousand dollars,” said Kirlin, “but I know they would just sit there and shut them down. That’s just the first step.”

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