Riverhead Raceway cancels all events for May, faces uncertain future for rest of season

Another sports casualty of COVID-19 was announced Wednesday morning.

Federal and state restrictions put into place because of the coronavirus pandemic prompted Riverhead Raceway to cancel all of its racing events for May. The track had previously canceled two safety technical inspection days and a warmup day that had been slated for the final three weeks of April.

“We will continue to monitor regulations set forth by the state and we will be ready to race when those regulations change and allow us,” read a statement released by the track’s owners, Eddie and Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz. “All of us at Riverhead Raceway are hoping that you and yours are staying safe and home during this worldwide pandemic.”

The Long Island racing world suffered a coronavirus-related loss April 15, with the death of Street Stock/Late Model legend Paul McElearney, who was 70. Two former Modified drivers at the track, Joe Krukowski and Jim Kelly, also contracted the virus. Earlier this week Kelly, who remains active in racing with the LIVARS Vintage Race Car group, was transferred to a physical therapy facility. Krukowski is also expected to be transferred from Stony Brook Southampton Hospital for physical therapy later this week. Both McElearney and Krukowski are enshrined on the Riverhead Raceway Cromarty Wall of Champions.

On Monday, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced the cancellation of its spring state championships. The impacted sports are baseball, boys tennis, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls track and field, golf and softball. Those championships were to be held June 4-13.

Those cancellations, however, were moot for Long Island high school sports teams, whose seasons were canceled April 21.