Sandia Speedway hosts weekend race despite public health orders

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s against state rules, but a popular Albuquerque race track reportedly hosted a race over the weekend that brought in dozens of people.

On Sandia Speedway’s Facebook page they posted an ad, promoting their “Sprint Car Stampede” race this past Saturday. The post did say they had intentions of following the governor’s public health order like not having spectators at the event and requiring everyone to wear a mask.

But a video posted on Facebook by one person who attended Saturday’s race, that KRQE News 13 does not have permission to use, showed there were dozens of people, sitting on the bleachers close together, with a handful of them not wearing masks.  

The owner of Sandia Speedway said the people in the video weren’t “spectators” but were instead crew members and family members of the drivers. He said they have everyone sign a COVID-19 waiver form that also asks for their contact information, that must be filled out the Thursday before the race.

“That’s the crew, there is [sic] no spectators, so if you saw a woman or a man or kids, they are one hundred percent of them are with a race team,” said Charlie Fegan, the owner of Sandia Speedway.    

Fegan said they’ve had a race every weekend since July and said there have been no reported COVID-19 cases from his business. He also said he got approved to reopen his business back in June by Bernalillo County which he says was working with the state. 

A spokesperson with the governor’s office sent KRQE News 13 an email responding to Sandia Speedway’s race over the weekend:  

Race tracks and speedways are not currently permitted to operate or hold events, per the public health order. Those operating in violation of the public health order will be subject to legal consequences – Sandia Speedway will be issued a cease and desist letter shortly, and any further violation will result in significant citations. New Mexico State Police has been advised and will be patrolling this location for any upcoming events held in violation of the public health order. 

I hope you reiterate to your viewers that these consequences are not the state’s goal – but they are an unfortunate reality of New Mexicans conducting themselves in ways that continue to allow COVID-19 to spread, and in violation of the public health order. We all have to come together to slow the spread and save lives.

Spokesperson with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Office

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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