Columbia County, NY – Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I,Ref-Halfmoon) and Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) today announced that they have written Governor Cuomo seeking a waiver from state government from the NY on PAUSE directive so that Lebanon Valley Speedway may re-open for local racers to test and tune their vehicles.
The letter (attached) is the latest step in Senator Jordan and Assemblyman Ashby’s continued call for a careful, coordinated, regional re-opening of New York State’s economy to help thousands of struggling small businesses, 1.2 million – and growing – New Yorkers filing for unemployment, and countless communities impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak’s economic fallout.
“Lebanon Valley Speedway is one of America's premier racing tracks. This outdoor venue is large enough to easily and safely accommodate local racers to come test and tune their vehicles for the day – hopefully coming soon – when the speedway can resume races. This is another necessary step that can, and should, be carefully taken to re-open New York and get our economic engines running again. With careful consideration, common sense, and practical guidance from businesses and health officials, I have no doubt that New York’s economy will be revving up soon,” Senator Jordan said.
While the venue would be open, there would be no spectators allowed for any test runs. In their letter sent to the Governor earlier today, Senator Jordan and Assemblyman Ashby wrote the following:
“Our districts are the proud home to Lebanon Valley Speedway, a half-mile high-banked clay oval located halfway between Albany and Pittsfield, Massachusetts. As you may be aware, Lebanon Valley Speedway is one of the premier racetracks in the United States drawing tens of thousands of racing enthusiasts annually, showcasing some of the very best in auto racing excitement to a passionate fan base.
We write to share a recent request from Howard Commander, owner, and promoter of Lebanon Valley Speedway, asking for consideration from New York State for his business to help meet the evolving needs of racers. Specifically, Mr. Commander asked for our assistance in securing a waiver for Lebanon Valley Speedway so local racers may test and tune their cars at the raceway while your New York on PAUSE Executive Order remains in effect until May 15.
It’s important to note that Lebanon Valley Speedway has taken every practical precaution necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, following all state guidelines and regulations. In fact, Mr. Commander has already canceled events, and seen events canceled, due to Coronavirus pandemic. These cancelations have already imposed serious and significant financial burdens on the raceway, which operates on a seasonal basis. Mr. Commander genuinely wants to help the car enthusiasts that work on the cars all winter be able to tune their vehicles at the track and keep interest among the fan base. As you may be aware, Lebanon Valley Speedway is a large, outdoor venue that could easily, and safely, accommodate car enthusiasts working on their cars in a manner that’s fully in keeping with necessary social distancing protocols so important during this difficult time.
As we begin to enter the next and necessary structured phases of re-opening New York, as we have called for this past weekend, we ask that Empire State Development agrees to Lebanon Valley Speedway’s request that racers be able to test and tune their cars at this beloved outdoor raceway.”
A copy of Senator Jordan and Assemblyman Ashby’s correspondence to Governor Cuomo is attached to this news release.