The World of Outlaws sanctions some of the best, top-level dirt track racing you can find, but it isn’t immune to the effects of a global pandemic. After last week’s races in Knoxville, Iowa, three sprint car drivers and a few crew members tested positive for COVID-19, a fact that looks to derail the series for at least the next two weeks.
Among the drivers who have tested positive are Daryn Pittman, Paul McMahan, and Tori Knutson. Kraig Kinser Racing and Roth Motorsports will also be sitting out this weekend after team members tested positive. As more people get tested, more drivers, crew, and family seem to be coming up positive.
Most racing series have enacted some pretty hefty protocols to keep both drivers and fans safe, but WoO has been a little more lenient. At Knoxville, fans were not only allowed at the track but could participate in autograph sessions with drivers and take part in the traditional post-race pit invasion.
Fans who attended the event and interacted with any of the infected drivers or crew have been advised to get tested themselves without waiting to display symptoms. All Platinum drivers—those who compete in the series full-time—are also encouraged to get tested. The series is conducting contact tracing to determine where the outbreak started and where it is likely to spread.
Since then, WoO has put stronger COVID-19 protocols into place, such as closing the pit area to fans and implementing mandatory temperature checks before entering the venue. While many of these protocols were technically in place, they were not always strongly enforced.
In addition, affected drivers are required to quarantine until medically cleared. Platinum drivers who miss races due to COVID-19 will receive “hardship points.” Even while not competing, those drivers will accumulate points based on their average finishing position throughout the earlier parts of the season.