Before gates open to race fans for Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, officials welcomed a select group of avid fans to experience the new safety protocols that will be in place in response to the ongoing pandemic.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager David McGrath, alongside New Hampshire Commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, Taylor Caswell, lead the “Journey of the Fan” event, which spotlighted efforts in place to practice social distancing and common-sense protocols ranging from digital tickets to cashless purchases.
“Allowing the fans to attend the race, be in the grandstands, safety distanced, is one of the best things you can do to bring a little normalcy in what has been an unusual year,” said McGrath. “We believe that the plans we have put in place, the way we are social distancing and putting people in the grandstands, all addresses that. At the end of the day, this is all about family, friends and fun, bring out in the New Hampshire sunshine and having a good time.”
During the event, fans were taken through a simulated race day check-in, concession purchase and visit to the souvenir hauler before being shown to their socially-distanced seats.
“This is our vacation. A lot of our friends, they go to all different places. This is what we do every summer. It’s our one thing that we like to do,” said Brittany McDonagh, a longtime race fan on-hand for Friday’s walk-thru. “We’re happy everyone has worked so hard to get us here. Just to be able to bring them here, this is our most normal weekend of the last five months. This is a good weekend.”
Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 will be New England’s first fan-attended sporting event by any major sports league since the pandemic began.
“We really have treasured this event here in New Hampshire for now 30 years and have a really great relationship with the track and with NASCAR,” Caswell said. “To be able to do it under the circumstances, and be able to pull it off in a really safe way, has been a real hallmark. I think as one of the first attended major sports events back in New England, we have every intention of making this go as well as it possibly can.”
For fans who are unable to attend, coverage of the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 begins at 2:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Coverage will also be broadcast on Performance Racing Network radio affiliates beginning at 2 p.m.
Tickets still remain for Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. Adult tickets are available starting at $70 at https://www.nhms.com/events/foxwoods-resort-casino-301/tickets/. Tickets for kids 12 and under are just $10. Free parking will be available in the S1, S2, S3 and S9 lots on Aug. 2. There will be no trams, camping or open bath houses for this event. Further details can be found on the New Hampshire Motor Speedway website.