NASCAR fans head out to Martinsville Speedway for playoff races

Published: Nov. 1, 2020 at 6:45 PM EST
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Like most things in 2020, NASCAR looks very different this year. Only 1,000 fans are allowed into the weekend’s playoff races.

WDBJ7 spoke with a couple who were brought together through tragedy and their love of NASCAR. Even with a pandemic and a long drive, they said going to this race was absolutely worth it.

“We keep moving forward but keep using caution, common sense, so we feel blessed to be able because there’s only so many fans that get in,” NASCAR fan Joe Pugliese said.

Joe and Lisa Pugliese drove four and a half hours from Tennessee to see this race.

“We both lost our partners to cancer and we met each other as NASCAR fans, and we live every day but we don’t want to be secluded and when you go out, just use common sense, and things will be okay," Joe said.

They say they wanted to see their favorite drivers and have an opportunity to get out of the house.

“I love Jimmie Johnson, she loves Chase Elliott," Joe said.

“We had to get out of the house sometime. We went to Bristol, there’s not many tracks that let you in," Lisa said.

The Puglieses are two of 1,000 fans allowed inside the stadium at the Martinsville Speedway. Fans who had already purchased tickets to a race were reseated in new locations to follow social distancing protocol. And all guests were screened before entering and were required to wear face coverings.

“They screen very well. It’s safe," Joe said.

The couple said the race venue certainly looked different than past years.

“It just seems funny because there’s not many people, there’s no traffic, there’s no line to get in," Lisa said.

“It brings reality into perspective," Joe added.

This is the Puglieses fourth time at the Martinsville Speedway.

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