In a follow up from our previous article, Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered Ace Speedway to close after the facility violated his executive orders against mass gatherings closed immediately, declaring the venue an imminent hazard.
Gov. Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services partnered with NASCAR to find a way to have the Coca-Cola 600, and they developed specific protocols for a safe event that were followed. She said they repeatedly asked for ACE’s compliance, but that didn’t work. Dr. Cohen says they need to show that they take this seriously.
“Mass gatherings do spread the virus,” said Cohen, the state’s DHHS secretary who signed the order closing the speedway. “It was irresponsible for them to keep operating in the way they were doing.”
The speedway’s next scheduled night of racing is June 19.
“This speedway has knows that the (mass gathering) order is in existence and has flagrantly violated the order and put their customers in danger as well as anyone who has come into contact with their customers,” Cooper said during a Tuesday news conference.
The order said Ace Speedway must notify the public by 5 p.m. Tuesday that its upcoming race schedule and other events are canceled until June 26. The speedway’s website and Facebook page had not yet done so as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Sheriff Terry Johnson also issued a response.
“It puts me in a heck of a position as a sheriff, and any sheriff in this state, to try to write a citation to enforce the governor’s order when in fact it’s a constitutional violation in my opinion and the other sheriffs in this state,” Johnson said.