After his racing season was put on pause for a couple of months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cobble Hill sprint car driver Robbie Price has been back in action for a few weeks.
It was taking some time for Price to get back in the swing of things, he admitted while on his way to Lawton, Oklahoma earlier this month after racing the previous weekend in Pocola and Creek County, in the same state.
“It’s going alright,” he said. It’s a little slow. I’m getting more consistency. It was hit and miss for a while. I’m working on trying to get better every weekend.”
The ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series started up in late February, and Price managed to race in Arizona and California before the circuit took a two-month break from March to May. He returned to Vancouver Island for the hiatus, and was eager to get back on the track as soon as possible.
“I was getting a little stir-crazy,” he admitted. “It’s nice to get back going again.”
Price returned to action in Texas on May 12 and 13, then competed in South Dakota and Arkansas before heading to Oklahoma. His travels included a visit to the exotic animal park featured in Netflix sensation Tiger King in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
There were no crowds at the first race because of pandemic precautions, but numbers have been increasing steadily.
“We’ve run with a crowd a few times,” Price commented. “It’s getting back to what it was.”
Price’s race in Creek County, Oklahoma, was “packed,” he said.
“People are itching to get some form of entertainment.”
Responses to the pandemic have varied from track to track and circuit to circuit. Some tracks are requiring drivers to practice social distancing, while some circuits require drivers to wear masks.
“We haven’t come across that yet,” Price said. “They’re mostly just leaving it up to common sense.”
Since he returned to the track, COVID-19 has taken a back seat in the news cycle behind protests and riots sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minnesota. Price hasn’t seen the events first-hand, but he took precautions while passing by Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has seen its share of unrest.
“We’re trying to avoid it as much as we can,” Price admitted. “We’re not driving through cities at night as much. We stay towards the outskirts of town.
“You can tell the environment is definitely different. It’s also an election year down here. It’s crazy.”