Denis McGlynn thought Dover International Speedway had checked the right boxes to get fans to be able to see racing in person next month, until the decision from Delaware went against them.
"It's a big disappointment for everybody," McGlynn told WDEL when asked about his reaction to the state of Delaware's call to reject their plans. "Especially the employees here who were putting together the plans to be able to take care of the fans when they did get here. We had a lot of help from NASCAR. They developed a quite extensive and thorough group of procedures and protocols to keep everybody tested, separated, and distributed throughout the grandstand. They were all kind of extra precautions to keep everybody safe.
McGlynn said while the plan was solid, he thought the recent rise of COVID-19 cases might have conspired against the track.
"I think it all would have come together if not for the resurgence of the coronavirus in the last couple of weeks, not just in Delaware but the surrounding region where our fans come from.
"It was all, at the end of the day, up to the health officials and their comfort level for the direction that this virus was taking and where it might be in three weeks. I think they erred on the safe side, and it is hard to argue against it, but it is disappointing."
As for the plan, McGlynn said they were taking an approach similar to Phase 1 of Delaware's Reopening Plan.
"We thought we could do 30% of capacity, which would have been about 18,000 fans, keeping everybody adequately distanced. The fact is I kind of doubt we would have gotten that many to show up, so I think the distancing between fans would have been even greater, but we're never going to know now."
McGlynn said the track will go forward to create the best experience possible for fans watching at home, and that they will move forward.
"It's a kick in the knees to be sure, but there's not a lot we can do about it. I think if you look across the whole state and region, there's a lot of businesses that are really suffering. I really feel bad for the little mom and pop guys who are closing and can't get reopened. I think we're lucky to be okay. We're not going to be as good as we would if we had fans, but we're not going to be closing the doors either. I think we're looking to get past this and look ahead to next year."
Next year will bring its own changes to Dover, as Dover Motorsports moved one of its two races to Nashville Superspeedway, meaning this will be the last time, for now, that Delaware will host two NASCAR races at its highest level in the same year.
The races are set for August 22 and 23, and can be seen on NBCSN.