NASCAR made its return recently and now, with the lifting of the stay home order, local tracks here in Michigan can open up too!

For the racing fans and participants alike, local tracks are always a great place to get your fix and lucky for us here in Lansing we have tracks like I-96 Speedway to turn (left) to. (Please tell me someone caught that pun).

Now, though there will be some new guidelines to follow, I-96 is gearing up for their season opener at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 12th.

It is actually so exciting to see local tracks getting back to business because with COVID-19 putting a halt to sports, it has made it so much easier to get really ingrained in racing culture.

For example, my boyfriend Jordan got a pony stock to run at I-96 back in 2009 where he got his first win and came back for another season when he started running a modified.

Dirt track racing is a big part of Jordan and his family's life so to say I have heard lots of great things about I-96 Speedway would be an understatement.

Jordan told me about how out of all of his memories there, his first one was winning a pony stock race.

"It was my first season running a full sized car after running mini sprints," he said. "So it was my first win in a non open wheel car."

Courtesy of Jordan Bailey

Now we definitely have to acknowledge the elephant in the room and that is how COVID-19 and the safety precautions we all have to follow could change how things go at the track this season.

Jordan said it is absolutely going to change interactions between officials, the drivers and the fans.

From his perspective he used to be able to interact with fans easily at the track, especially at victory lane but knows other tracks are re-vamping how they are doing driver's meetings and spacing out everyone's haulers.

"So it may have a different look on the pits side but the racing itself on the rack should be the same as always," Jordan said.

According to I-96's web page featuring information about the 2020 season opener event, safety measures include: checking temperatures, requesting people wear masks and groups maintaining social distancing.

As far as the whos and the whats of the actual racing, they will be running five classes:

    • Great Lakes Super Sprints (360ci Winged Sprint Cars)
    • IMCA Modifieds
    • Street Stocks
    • Four Cylinders
    • Mini Wedges

So if you are looking for something to do this weekend and want to get off to the races, just know you should probably wear a hat and some glasses because the dirt will (finally) be flying!

And from one race fan to another, have fun and welcome back!

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