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Super Oval racers get back on the track — without fans in the seats

EAST WENATCHEE — In March, Cameron Doyle got his driver’s license for the first time, despite driving race cars since age 14.

Doyle passed his test, but failed the parking and backing out of an alley, he said.

“Because you don’t have to do any of that in a race car,” Doyle said, laughing.

It is legal to drive on a racetrack without a license, because it is private property, he said. But the strangest part about driving on the street versus a race track is the cars are coming at you instead of driving with you.

Doyle and 39 other drivers participated in the Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval’s first race this season on Friday and Saturday. No fans were in the stands for the race, but NCWLife televised it.

The event included four to six heat races and four main events, said Jeremy Anders, Super Oval general manager.

Doyle said he was happy to get back in the race car, not only to get to compete, but to support the race track that is suffering during the shutdown. At the beginning of the year, the track thought it would have more drivers registered than any year previous, but now the track has had to cancel half of its events, he said.

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“This is an awesome sport, especially at the Super Oval,” Doyle said. “They have got such a good program going on here.”

Doyle drives in the Thunder Car division and rides a 1979 Monte Carlo, he said. He won the heat race at the Father’s Day and Fireworks event at Stateline Speedway Stadium in Post Falls, Idaho. But his vehicle ran into problems during practice and he didn’t qualify.

Doyle learned to race in a 1987 Honda Civic in the Roadrunner division and won several events, he said.

It’s frustrating not being able to have fans in the stands, but the Super Oval needs to support its sponsors any way it can, Anders said.

“We can’t really operate business long-term or short-term with no fans In the stands,” he said. “But this was kind of a way to get something going.

The Super Oval has canceled seven of its 14 events for the summer, Anders said. This is the 50th anniversary of the its being in the Wenatchee Valley.

The racetrack seats 3,000 and if the government gave them a 50% capacity limit it would be easily able to distance people 6 feet from each other, he said. But they’re not doing that right now.

“It’s not an easy road for us right now,” he said. “Long-term if it continues like this it’s not a good thing.”

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