No NASCAR fans at Pocono Raceway hurting nearby business

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Cars race during the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics 325 in partnership with Rodale Institute at Pocono Raceway on June 27, 2020 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

LONG POND, Pa. — Per Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s guidelines for live sporting events, no fans are allowed to attend NASCAR’s doubleheader at Pocono Raceway.

No fans meant the tables aren’t filling up at restaurants near the race track, including at Woody’s Country House.

“It’s been very very slow. I mean we just go into green, and people are staying away,” said Susan White, Wood’s Country House owner. “Even our locals are staying away knowing that the races don’t have any fans. They’re just afraid you know that they’re going to get bombarded with fans.”

Sweet Cravings Ice Cream Parlor, on Route 115, has been busy since they opened back in May.

Manager Kim McKee said race weekend or not, people always love ice cream and will stop in.

“It’s been steady, we were steady all day yesterday,” McKee said. “Today, even with the rain we’ve been steady since we opened up at 11, so they’re coming to get hotdogs, chicken fries, mac and cheese bites, everything we have and then they come back for ice cream.”

Businesses along Route 115 near the track said it’s not just the coronavirus closures that hurt them, it’s also the ongoing construction.

“Kind of hard on both sides and then the construction on top of it is like everything all the way around is a little bit rough,” added White.

White said like the lack of fans there are no food services at the track for those allowed inside, so they have been getting some of the teams in to eat or for takeout and that’s helped.

They’re also hoping that one driver, in particular, chooses to stop in because they’ve added a menu item called “The Bubba Burger” for Bubba Wallace.

“Not yet, not yet. No, but that’s okay we’re just supporting the driver there so that’s awesome,” White said.

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