Judge rules against reopening Ace Speedway

ALTAMAHAW, N.C. (WTVD) -- A North Carolina judge has ruled in favor of the state against Ace Speedway in Alamance County which has been at the center of controversy during the state's shutdown.

The speedway has been fighting a restraining order keeping them from reopening after the state shut them down due to hosting more than 1,000 fans at a race on Saturday, June 6. Last Friday, during a second hearing, Judge Tom Lambeth did not issue a ruling. The track has since followed the ruling and remained closed.

In Lambeth's memorandum, he expressed sympathy towards the owners of Ace Speedway, as well as thousands of other business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but reinforced the need to protect the health of the public.

Read Tom Lambeth's memorandum on the Cohen v. Ace Speedway case

In his conclusion, Lambeth said the state "made a clear and compelling showing that a public health emergency exists in Alamance County" and that closing the speedway was necessary to deal with it.

Lambeth cites North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen's scientific and medical data that show that large gatherings, like those at the speedway, have been linked to increased spread of COVID-19.

In the meantime, the court encouraged the speedway to continue to work alongside the state to host races under current restrictions.

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