Golden Sands Speedway, drivers preparing for 2020 season opener

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PLOVER, Wis. (WSAW) - Golden Sands Speedway in Plover is set to let the green flag fly for the 2020 racing season with the Dick Trickle 99 scheduled to take place on Memorial Day.

Golden Sands Speedway (WSAW photo 5/22/2020)

“We are so excited to open the race track; get some fans here, get the drivers here,” said Shannon Smiley, who owns the race track with her husband, Cody. “Try to bring a little normalcy back to this chaotic event that is going on with the pandemic.”

The track will allow fans in the stands with those wanting to attend able to purchase tickets on the track's website or in person. Smiley said a lot of precautions are being taken to keep the fans, track staff, and racers as safe as possible.

“We’ve been sanitizing the entire facility. We have signs hung up for social distancing. We’re going to have every other stand blocked off,” explained Smiley. “Just try to keep it fun, keep it safe and we just want everybody here to be safe and have a good time.”

In addition to those precautions, Smiley said the track will have hand sanitizer stations scattered throughout the facility. She’s aware that a lot of eyes will be on Golden Sands with it being one of the first tracks to resume racing in Wisconsin, but she’s confident in her staff to make the event both safe and successful.

“I’m anticipating a really good crowd which I’m really excited for,” said Smiley. “We’re going to be taking every precaution when it comes to COVID-19.”

The track is encouraging the drivers and teams participating in Monday’s race to stay in their pit area and not intermingle with other competitors throughout the grounds.

“It kind of sucks because we haven’t been able to see a lot of my competitors all winter,” said Midwest Truck Series driver Levon Van Der Geest, who hopes to kick off his title defense with a win on Monday. “It would be nice to be able to go up to them and shake their hand but, we can’t do that, and it’s going to be okay. We’ll just race and focus on our own stuff and hopefully, it will turn out good. It will still be fun.”

Super late model driver and hometown favorite Gabe Sommers agrees.

“It will be a little bit different staying at our haulers and just staying with our team,” said Sommers, who was victorious in the final race held at the track in 2019. “Give us a little bit more time, actually, to focus on ourselves and work on the car a little bit more. Usually, we go from trailer to trailer talking with our buddies. It will be a little bit different but hopefully, it will be alright.”

For more information on the Dick Trickle 99, visit Golden Sands Speedway’s website here.