World of Outlaws race scheduled June 5 at River Cities Speedway has been canceled

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Sprint car racers go four-wide for a pre-race salute prior to last season's World of Outlaws feature race at River Cities Speedway. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

The World of Outlaws race scheduled for River Cities Speedway on June 5 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Outlaws announced the decision Thursday morning. The event will not be rescheduled. The Outlaws race set for Sauk Rapids, Minn., on June 6 also was canceled and will not be made up.

In a release, the Outlaws said after deliberation and discussion with local government officials, the country’s top sprint car racing group determined that putting on an event with a reduced crowd or no crowd was not feasible.

The Outlaws, however, are scheduled to host a two-day show this weekend in Pevely, Mo., where a limited number of fans will be allowed. RCS regular Mark Dobmeier was scheduled to race with the Outlaws at the I-55 Speedway in Pevely..

The cancellation of the June 5 show at RCS marks the first time since 2007 that the Outlaws have been unable to race in Grand Forks.


The Outlaws, however, said the Aug. 21 race scheduled for RCS is still on as scheduled.

Late Thursday afternoon, the Outlaws announced there will be a two-day show to make up for the June 5 and June 6 dates in Grand Forks and Sauk Rapids.

It wasn't disclosed where the races will take place. There will be a limited amount of fans allowed to those events, according to the Outlaws.

The cancellation of the June 5 date at RCS will break a streak of 25 straight races the Outlaws have completed in Grand Forks since the circuit's debut at The Bullring in 2007. The track didn't lose one scheduled show to weather but the pandemic was something the track could overcome.

On Friday, May 22, RCS will hold a practice night for drivers in all four of the classes that run regularly. Only 250 drivers and crew members will be allowed at RCS and strict social distancing guidelines will be in place.

The Grand Forks County Commission gave RCS approval to allow 500 people at the track for the scheduled May 29 season opener. However, RCS officials say they need that number to increase if they intend to launch the season next week.


Track officials, who requested an allowance for 900 for the opener, are expected to make a decision about the May 29 opener in the next few days.

Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.

He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.

He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.

Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or
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