The Wisconsin Supreme Court has given hope to Road America that fans could be allowed into the track’s IndyCar race weekend of June 19-21.
By a 4-3 vote, Gov. Tony Evers restrictions on all daily life and social gatherings in the face of the coronavirus pandemic was over-ruled by the court’s conservative majority of Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and Justices Rebecca Bradley, Daniel Kelly and Annette Ziegler. The court’s fifth conservative, Brian Hagendorn, wrote a dissent joined by the court’s other two justices, Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet.
It’s the first time a statewide order of its kind has been knocked down by a court of last resort and came after Wisconsin had met five of the governor’s six criteria to begin a phased reopening of the state, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. However, the Journal Sentinel also reported that Wisconsin saw its third-highest single-day increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus on Thursday, with 373 new cases and 13 more deaths caused by COVID-19.
The court’s action doesn’t guarantee that spectators will be present at Elkhart Lake for the second race of the retooled 2020 NTT IndyCar Series calendar, but it certainly betters the odds.
Last month, Road America president and general manager Mike Kertscher told RACER his track relies on paying customers, corporate sponsors and longtime supporters to make ends meet but also noted that the scenic road course’s 640 acres might make it easier to allow spectators.
“I’ve been thinking about one of the best places on the planet for social distancing and it’s Road America with our wide open spaces, camping and exterior gates so we could check people,” he said. “Obviously we don’t like to practice social distancing, but if that’s what it takes, I’m on board.”