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Owner of Summit Motorsports Park explains comments saying he will open despite state orders

Summit Motorsports Park
Posted at 8:07 PM, Apr 18, 2020

NORWALK, Ohio — The owner of Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk clarified comments he made during a Facebook live video earlier this week where he said he would be opening his business regardless of the stay at home order issued by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Bill Bader Jr. took to Facebook where he argued that the COVID-19 pandemic is not as bad as the experts have claimed and that he planned to announce racing events at the track in Norwalk as soon as next week.

“We are opening. Summit Motorsports Park is not going to wait for permission,” Bader said on Wednesday on Facebook. “Summit Motorsports Park is not gonna wait for Dr. Fauci and wait for Amy Acton and wait for Mike DeWine because none of them even know I exist and none of them really care. At this point in the interest in self-preservation and wanting to maintain an incredible legacy that my family started here in 1974, we are opening this racetrack, we will open this year.”

Bader spoke with CNN for an interview Saturday and said he understands why some people saw his comments as being reckless but that he was just trying to speak for small businesses affected by the order.

"We have a problem, no question that this pandemic is real. But the casualties that this will create in family businesses, as an example, one small example, a place I have gotten my haircut since I was a child, on Main Street in Norwalk, closed their doors,” Bader said. “How many of those businesses will never return?"

During the interview with CNN, Bader said he does have plans to reopen but did not specify when. He said when he does reopen the race track, he will ensure social distancing guidelines are being adhered to.