HERMON – With the precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Speedway 95 track owner Del Merritt and the 2020 racing season has been put in to limbo.
“It’s been kind of boring for me, my bar’s closed, my restaurant’s closed, and we don’t know on speedway when we can open,” said Merritt.
Merritt, who also owns Judy’s in Bangor and Cap’s Tavern in brewer, has been placed in a state of flux with both establishments, and his track’s scheduled opening day of May 9 is also in question. “Don’t know if they’re going to extend the six foot distance out in to may, so it makes it hard to know whether to turn the lights on, I don’t want to get 25 or 30 thousand dollars worth of tires and can’t use them until June,” said Merritt.
A delayed season will not have major financial repercussions for Merritt if he isn’t able to open the track, as he owns the land the track is on. He says he’s hoping for stability for his racers after the cancellation of the Bangor Mall car show, scheduled for April 24. “I just have heard that everyone seems to be excited to get started, they wanted to have the mall show…I’m just sort of more interested in seeing when we get the race track open and get things back to normal,” said Merritt.
For Merritt’s other ventures, everything is on hold. He’s making the most of having an empty building at Judy’s for the eventual return to business, “been in cleaning ‘em, it’s been a good time for Judy’s, remodeled everything in to Judy’s…to that point it’s been alright, now it’s starting to get old.”
Merritt may tire of the boredom of a stay at home order, but he knows the precautions being taken across the state are saving lives. “We don’t want to see people dying from it, so if it works, why, we’ve gone this far and ruined the economy, we might as well finish ruining it and get rid of the bug and go for it,” said Merritt.