LAFARGEVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The month of April is usually the time area dirt tracks start gearing up for the beginning of the 2020 racing season. But this year, due to the coronavirus outbreak, all is quiet on the area ovals. Including the Can-Am Speedway in LaFargeville, which underwent a major face lift in the off season.
Usually this time of the year, the Can-Am Speedway would be bustling with workers getting the oval ready for practices and racing. But this year, the track sits quiet. And officials were forced to postpone the Super Dirtcar Series opening event at the speedway scheduled for April 11th.
“You know, losing April 11th, practice weekends, it doesn’t look like restrictions will be lifted until May, so we’re still in hopes for getting some racing in in May right now,” said Tyler Bartlett, Can-Am Speedway’s owner.
In the off season, the track underwent a major face lift that was a big investment for Bartlett. Now, not being able to race and already losing a big event is a financial hit for the speedway.
“This year we, you know, we’re putting a lot more finances into the property and new lighting system, new p.a. system and new bleachers. Lot of it is we’re just kinda excited to get people out there and enjoy the new upgrades that we’ve installed. It’s gonna make for better racing for the driver and the fan,” said Bartlett.
Another concern for Bartlett is the restrictions at the U.S.-Canadian border with a number of racers from north of the border running regularly at the track, bringing with them a number of fans as well.
“It’s a big commitment for them every week to make the time and take the time to get across. I’m afraid the current restrictions, unless something significantly changes, you know, we’re gunna be down on cars and down on fans. You know, they’ve been a good root to the race track for years,” said Bartlett.
For some of the drivers, racing is their main source of income. And not being able to get on the track is putting a financial burden on them by not only being able to race, but with sponsors of cars and teams taking a break during this time.
“Yeah, there’s quite a few guys out there that race for a living, they rely on sponsor dollars and small businesses to, you know, finance that operation. And you know, we’re feeling the crunch right now just in some conversations with some local businesses that have already reached out, you know, just saying you know things are kinda on pause right now until the things get sorted out,” said Bartlett.
And when they do, look for the racing to be bigger and better than ever at the nasty track of the north.
Former Heuvelton basketball star, Paige McCormick announced on her Twitter account Saturday night that she has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal and will be leaving UMass after 3 seasons.
McCormick led the Lady Bulldogs to 3 straight New York State Class D Championships on the hardwood in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and was named the most outstanding player of the tournament all 3 seasons.
At UMass, McCormick started 42 games in her career, averaging 5.8 points a game. Her best season came as a freshman when she averaged 8 points a contest.
“Um, at this point I’m just looking for a team that feels like a family and a program that is accepting of me and I just wanna have fun the rest of my collegiate career. That’s my goal. I’m completely open. Whoever wants me, whoever thinks I could be a good fit for their program both academically and athletically as a community whole that’s where I’m headed,” said McCormick.