ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Despite the state’s health order, a New Mexico speedway still decided to hold their season opener this weekend. They even welcomed hundreds of people into their venue. As restrictions lessen from the coronavirus, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has said New Mexico is still not ready to hold mass gatherings.
“Today, if you asked me if I think in the middle of July we could have a large concert, my reaction with what I know about COVID around the country and for the state of New Mexico is no. I don’t think we can,” she said earlier this month.
However, for the organizers at Alien Motor Speedway in Roswell, that didn’t matter. This past Saturday, they went ahead with their season opener and invited hundreds of people to come out.
According to their Facebook page, after the event, they thanked everyone for a successful night and showed their appreciation for “the fans showing up in the masses.” On Friday, one of the event organizers took to Facebook to address the controversy behind their decision to go ahead with the event.
“We have a couple haters in our community, previous racers and stuff, that are trying to shut all the race tracks down here in New Mexico that you guys know. I’m not scared. I am racing tomorrow,” said one of the organizers.
In comparison, sporting events and venues, like New Mexico United, have had to make adjustments to their games and schedules to comply with the health order. Even after defying the governor’s order this weekend, organizers at the speedway don’t plan on stopping. A countdown has been posted on their website for the next event this coming weekend.
A governor’s spokesperson said last week they plan on reaching out to the organizers to tell them this is not permitted. New Mexico State Police say they were made aware of the event and it’s currently under investigation.
KRQE News 13 reached out to Alien Motor Speedway for comment. They ignored our request.