EASLEY, S.C. (WSPA) – The familiar sounds of the racetrack flooded the Greenville-Pickens Speedway this week as local drivers participated in a practice run ahead of their next race on June 13th.
“It means a lot,” said Shawn J. Thomson, a first-year driver from Spartanburg. “It gives me something to do, to have some fun with the boys. We can wreck cars if we wreck, it is what it is, but we all wanna win.”
The coronavirus pandemic has caused delays and cancellations throughout the world of racing. But starting on Saturday, June 13th the speedway will be back to hosting once again.
“It’s our regular weekly racing events,” said Operations Manager Rena Tate. “We have limited late models that run 75 laps. We have Super Stocks, Renegades, Pure Stock V-6, V-8, and front-wheel drive 4-cylinders.”
This year many have been limited in testing out their cars which has made the practice runs that much more vital to ensuring they’re ready come raceday.
“Trying to get a little speed out of it,” said Jason Scruggs, from Easley, who’s preparing for his sixth race. “We changed a bunch of stuff over from the other week when we were here. So we’re just kind of working it, trying to get it better…Just getting in the car and having fun, that’s what it’s all about.”
The experience at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway, however, may be different from what fans are normally accustomed to. Currently, fans are only allowed to to view the races from their cars along the back stretch, not in the stands. Tate says that could change as early as Monday, June 8th, as they are expecting to be briefed on the status of their restrictions.
Nonetheless, anticipation continues to build as drivers await their return to the racetrack.
“I’ve got goosebumps,” said Thomson, who’s been working on his stock car, a ’70’s Malibu, all year. “I’m so happy I finally got the car running. I’ve been working on this car day and night. [My wife’s] been hounding me day and night ‘you’ve gotta come home, you’ve gotta come home,’ and I’m like ‘I gotta get the car ready, I gotta get the car ready. We want to go racing.’ So finally we are there.”
“The fans love it,” adds David Andrews from Pickens, who’s in his second year racing. “I’ve been coming here for years and watching. I’ve always wanted to race…I’m thrilled to death. Can’t wait.”
While the drivers will compete for 1st place, it pales in comparison to the ultimate prize of racing’s return.