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Motorsports: Louie Vermeil Classic canceled at Calistoga Speedway

Motorsports: Louie Vermeil Classic canceled at Calistoga Speedway

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Louie Vermeil Classic

The Louie Vermeil Classic honors the late father of Super Bowl-winning NFL head coach Dick Vermeil, second from left, and Stan Vermeil, far right, shown at the Classic a few years ago.

CALISTOGA — Calistoga Speedway officials have announced that the 11th annual Louie Vermeil Classic, scheduled for Labor Day weekend, has been cancelled due to restrictions on crowds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Classic, originally set Sept. 4-5, features the winged sprint cars of the King of the West Series and the non-winged USAC/CRA series in a traditional end-of-summer weekend to honor the late Louie Vermeil, who guided racing on the historic half-mile oval for nearly half a century.

Tommy Hunt, president of HMC Promotions, said the cancellation was the only option after extensive conversations with Napa County health officials.

“We tried to establish an arrangement that would allow the remaining events in 2020 to take place,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have to face the reality of the situation and work toward producing events in 2021.”

Hunt emphasized that he intends to promote Calistoga’s traditional special events in 2021, including the Wine Country Classic with the KWS series, the Louie Vermeil Classic, and the Wine Country Showdown with the World of Outlaws, and is hopeful of adding other races to that schedule.

Earlier this week, the World of Outlaws announced cancellation of its entire West Coast schedule through Washington, Oregon and California for this August and September, including the Wine Country Showdown that had been scheduled at Calistoga Speedway on Sept. 19, citing the uncertainty of crowd restrictions ordered by local health officials.

As a result, 2020 is the first year since racing resumed after World War II that Calistoga Speedway has been dark for an entire racing season.

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