Racers have sat in deep stage, eyes on the staging tree as they patiently waited for what has felt like an eternity for the green light at Winterport Dragway.

Christmas has arrived, and the tree is lit, as Maine government officials have given Winterport the go-ahead to get the 2020 racing season moving after the on-going COVID-19 (coronovirus) pandemic had stalled engines.

The strip's official opening date is Sunday, Aug. 9. That date will be only for testing and tuning of cars, however.

Racing at Maine's oldest independent dragway, which opened in 1967, will begin on Sunday, Aug. 16.

On Sundays the remainder of the season, points series racing will be held, and, at the end, trophies will be awarded.

At this time, the Gassah Guys camp-out events have had to be changed. Camp outs at the track will not be allowed, but any racer is welcomed to come on Sunday, and if there is enough of a turnout, a Gassah Guys class will be opened.

Track officials ask racers to try their best to stay in their pits, and to respect social-distancing measures by not having groups larger than 10.

Spectator areas will be set up, and no more than 50 people can be in each of those areas. Spectators must stay in that area, and not walk around the pits.

Those in attendance are asked to respect the guidelines so facility officials can successfully keep the track open for the season. Those who do not, will be asked to leave the facility.

“I want all racers, and spectators to go home safe when they leave the track. I also want them to feel safe while at our track,” said Sean Eori of the dragway.

Aside from points series racing, the dragway has announced a Street Night on Saturday, Aug. 22. If there is enough of a turnout, more Street Night events will be held the remainder of the season.

Bracket points races will be on Sundays Aug. 16, Aug. 23, Aug. 30, Sept. 6, Sept. 13, Sept. 20, Sept. 27, Oct. 4 and Oct. 11.

To stay up to date with track changes, follow Winterport Dragway on Facebook, or visit their website at cookap46.wixsite.com/winterportdragway.