Siskiyou Golden Speedway promotor Kevin Barba said that the consensus amongst racetrack promoters across the state is that likely, the earliest that racing will resume is in July. However, many factors have to take place for this to become a reality.
“That's what everyone's looking at at this time. We're hopeful we'll get going again sometime this summer,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the brakes for the time being on the racing season at the Siskiyou Golden Speedway in Yreka.

Racing was supposed to begin in April, but the pandemic has caused not a single event to occur so far this season. The only racing which took place was in early March for the Test N Tune, where drivers were allowed to test their cars and get a feel for the racetrack without a crowd.

Siskiyou Golden Speedway promotor Kevin Barba said that the consensus amongst racetrack promoters across the state is that likely, the earliest that racing will resume is in July. However, many factors have to take place for this to become a reality.

“That’s what everyone's looking at at this time. We’re hopeful we’ll get going again sometime this summer,” he said.

Barba, who is in his second year as the promoter for the speedway, said he can’t wait to have races again.

“I was hoping this was going to be a stellar year,’ he said. "I have been working hard trying to make this a premier track.”

He added that drivers had been hard at work maintaining their cars and are ”chomping at the bit” to finally get out on the track again.

Barba and a dedicated crew of volunteers had been going out to the track making needed renovations while keeping a social distance since the pandemic began, and things started to shut down around the state and country.

Last Wednesday, it was decided that for the time being, folks doing work at speedways across the state would no longer be able to continue due to insurance and liability concerns.

Barba said the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds have been supportive of the speedway during this challenging time. He said that he understands these are unique circumstances that are now taking place.

Barba said that he and his volunteers are still doing things to get ready for the season. With the racetrack not available at this time, he and his volunteers have been working on fixing equipment at a friend's property. They have been doing maintenance and repairs to vehicles, such as the water trucks and tow trucks used during the season at the speedway.

Before the change last week, Barba and his volunteers were at the speedway as much as possible making improvements. This included putting in a water line in the pits and making improvements to the track and concession stands, along with other needed repairs and projects. Barba said they were using the time to make sure things would be at their best when the speedway eventually is allowed to reopen its gates once again.

Barba hopes to get in the four memorial races that are a tradition at the speedway each year and get in as many races as possible, depending on when things are allowed to open up again.

While this has obviously been a difficult time for everyone, Barba said it helps, knowing he has the help and support of his volunteers.

“We take care of each other,” Barba said. “We’re family and help one another.”

He added that folks throughout Siskiyou County enjoy going to the races and is proud to offer something for families to enjoy together.

Barba, who is also the owner and operator of an auto repair businesses in Grenada, said he is constantly getting calls or messages from folks checking in and offering words of encouragement. He said there are a lot of dedicated fans who have gone to the speedway for years and that he greatly appreciates everyone’s support.

“I have fans that are there in the stands every week, whether if it's 20 degrees or 110 degrees,” Barba said. “I just appreciate all the support from them. You can't ask for better fans.”

One change that will be new this year is the trophy for the winner of each race will be presented after the event, and not after all the races have concluded like in previous years.

That way, Barba said the drivers can celebrate with the fans, and share the moment with their friends and family.