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RAR officials thinking outside the box on big day for local raceway

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Photos by Ray Hamill/HumboldtSports.com – Workers install the new scoreboard at the Redwood Acres Raceway on Friday afternoon.

By Ray Hamill — Friday was a big day for the Redwood Acres Raceway with the installation of a new state-of-the-art scoreboard, and that’s not the only good news coming out of the local track these days.

Despite having the first two race nights of the season canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 concerns, raceway officials remain optimistic that the season will begin soon with a number of interesting options on the table.

“There are a couple of tracks in California that are opening this weekend, so what we’re hoping to do is get permission for one of two things,” said RAR board member Jim Redd. “Either racing with no spectators where we can film the races and live stream them, or, if they allow us, we can reduce the number of spectators.”

The local raceway has a capacity of 3,800 and Redd is confident they could house between 750 and 1,000 while maintaining adequate social distancing.

He admits, however, that the first races of the season — now tentatively scheduled for June 6 — will likely be behind closed doors.

There are other options as well, including possibly setting up a temporary screen in the parking lot across the road for fans to watch the races in their cars within hearing distance of the action, with concessions available.

“These are just ideas. There’s nothing in stone yet,” Redd said.

The good news for local fans is that the raceway officials are thinking outside of the box and committed to holding a season of some sort.

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Holding races with no spectators and streaming them online is one option the local raceway is considering.

When the action does return, fans will benefit from the new state-of-the-art scoreboard, which will keep spectators updated on fast times, lap numbers and top five racers, all in live time.

A number of local boosters and companies contributed to the installation, including O&M Industries, which supplied all the structural steel and installed it.

Eureka Ready Mix supplied and poured all the concrete and Don’s Rent-All donated all the equipment.

“A number of people out there helped us,” Redd said. “It’s awesome. It’s really going to make a difference for the spectators.”

Redd added that the track is also now open for individuals who want to rent it for practice time.

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