For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, spectators were allowed to attend a major professional sporting event in Texas.
NASCAR Cup Series enthusiasts made their way into Texas Motor Speedway Sunday for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
“Oh it’s great," racing fan Mike Long said. "Dad and I have been coming here since the track opened up and we’re season ticket holders and we were starting to get withdrawal symptoms from not being here.”
"Coming back to the races kinds of makes us feel more alive," racing fan Madison Dubiski added.
While the action on the track hasn’t changed, the experience for those watching from the stands was much different than it was before the coronavirus sped across the world.
Among the changes, fans were required to wear a mask if they were unable to maintain six feet of distance from someone not in their same household -- that’s not ideal on a hot day.
“Oh it’s going to be terrible," fan Logan Brown said. "As long as I can get my beer through that mask, it’s going to be worth it.”
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In case anyone forgot the importance of public safety, there were plenty of reminders at this facility. TMS put up roughly 2,000 pieces of signage to remind fans of important things to remember during their visit.
“I appreciate the fact that people want to try and prevent us from getting (the coronavirus)," Long said. "Doing the separation in the seats and whatnot, I'm OK with it. I'll just live with it, you know whatever they think they got to do to, I just want us to get back to normal life again.”
“It’s hot. It’s definitely really hot in the mask," Dubiski said. "But just to get out and live life a little bit it’s worth it.”
Living life a little bit while staying safe – allowing race fans to once again enjoy the sport they love but haven’t been able to witness in person in a long time.