Thursday, August 6, 2020
Aug. 6, 2020

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Washougal National motocross is a go, but without fans

Pro series coming to Washougal on Aug. 22

By , Columbian sports reporter
Published:

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is coming back to Washougal.

The Washougal MX Park will host the sport’s premier racing series as part of the Washougal MX Pro-Am from Aug. 20-23. The marquee Washougal National is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22.

For the first time in its 40-year history hosting the series, though, spectators are not allowed. Motocross fans can watch the broadcast on NBC Sports Network and MavTV.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there was uncertainty about the 2020 motocross season, but the AMA Pro Racing series announced last week that it was returning for a nine-race schedule. Washougal is the second leg of the season following Loretta Lynn’s National in Tennessee the prior week.

“It definitely says we’re valued,” track manager Ryan Huffman said. “It feels pretty special.”

Huffman has been in concert with local government officials and the national circuit to figure out a safe way to bring motocross racing to Washougal in the days of a global pandemic. What Huffman calls a “safe to race task force” has allowed for regional races to be held at the track in the past month. Those have been largely successful.

“I’ve been taking this very serious,” said Huffman, who has spent hours on his living room floor pouring through the fine print on myriad amendments and restrictions Washington has implemented in response to the novel coronavirus.

The National, which draws upward of 20,000 race fans in a normal year, will have limited capacity for amateur entrants and campers who stay at the track. Only members of the same household can camp together. The limitations will allow people to space out over the 240-acre grounds. The pro pit area is also closed off as the professional racers follow their own safety guidelines, Huffman said.

There are measures in place to prevent non-race entrant spectators who attempt to purchase tickets and circumvent policies.

“They’ll have to turn around and there are no refunds,” Huffman said. “This is a private event. There are no spectators.”

While the track has undoubtedly taken plenty of hits this summer — a specator-less national among them — Huffman is staying positive.

“We want to hold a national for the Northwest people who it means the most to, that participate and recreate on dirt bikes,” Huffman said. “That’s what this is about first and foremost. Our focus is just making sure we’re all grateful and thankful.”

More information for prospective entrants can be found at washougalmxpk.com. For fans and followers of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, race details and broadcast information is available at promotocross.com.

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