Riverhead Raceway announces plans to start its 70th season later this summer

The familiar roar of the engines, a soundtrack to Saturday evenings in Riverhead, will return this summer.

Riverhead Raceway announced that racing will resume in July, with the first slate of full competition scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1.

“After 10 months of inactivity, Riverhead Raceway will come out of the gate strong for its 70th anniversary season with seven race dates scheduled in August,” the raceway announced.

Long Island begins Phase 3 of the NY Forward reopening on Wednesday. The raceway expects Long Island will be into Phase 4 by the time the track opens for practice sessions on Saturday, July 18.

The season will extend into November to account for missed time. The racing season is typically in full swing by now.

The Riverhead Town Board on Tuesday approved a resolution that allows the raceway to extend its season to Nov. 30. The town code lists that the raceway can hold 26 events.

The raceway said it will follow all COVID-19 guidelines set by local and state officials.

Tom Gatz, a track owner along with Eddie and Connie Partridge, said he’s confident Phase 4 will allow fans to be in attendance.

“At this point, it is too early to know what capacity limitations will be in place, if any at all,” he said in an email. “We are very happy to get back to racing, and are looking forward to experiencing some sense of normalcy.”

Riverhead Raceway will host two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events, the first on Sept. 19 and the second on Oct. 17.

The raceway will host several special events, including tributes to the frontline workers of the pandemic. Sept. 12 will be a Tribute to Heroes Night. The annual First Responders Gut & Go race will also be contested during that program, and will allow 50% off general admission tickets for all first responders with a valid ID.

The first slate of racing will be Sunday, July 26 with a Super Sunday Enduro Series.

See a full schedule of events here.