There were several questions in regards to the unfortunate decision to cancel the Washougal National, set for this weekend, due to local health restrictions in the state of Washington and Clark County, in which Washougal is located. So MX Sports Pro Racing’s (and Racer X’s) Davey Coombs sent us this explanation as to what went into the thinking of last Friday’s decision to cancel the second round of the 2020 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship and instead hold the race at the same venue as last Saturday’s opener, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Davey originally posted this on the VitalMX.com forum.
I understand the frustration of fans in the northwest that were looking forward to the Washougal National, as was I—it's one of my favorite tracks. We were on countless Zoom calls and meetings and did not make the decision to cancel the pro motocross event lightly. We discussed it at length with representatives of all six OEMs, as well as several riders, Ryan Huffman, and both TV broadcast companies.
When we scheduled the event nearly two months ago, it was with the full expectation that Clark County would move from what the state of Washington was calling Phase 2 to Phase 3. After we had a successful regional there in early July with maybe 1,200 entries, we fully expected to be able to return with the pro event, but we also expected the state to be in Phase 3 by mid-August. Here's what happened since the initial June 24 outdoor recreational-use letter that allowed the regional event to happen, but were very concerning for going forward with a pro event.
In June Governor Inslee produced "Safe Start Washington: A Phased Reopening County by County." It was anticipated that a three-week period would be required for a county to move between Phases 2 and 3.
* June 26: Governor Inslee mandated masks statewide.
* July 3: Governor Inslee suspended all counties progressing any further from their current phase, due to Covid-19 activity in the state.
*July 8: Clark County remained in Phase 2 (due to July 3 suspension) and no longer met the requirements to progress to Phase 3. Positive Covid-19 cases continued to increase. Subsequently, Clark County's application to progress to Phase 3 was returned by the State to Clark County, due to the facts in the application no longer being applicable. Clark County was told to rewrite and resubmit the application.
*July 16: Governor Inslee suspended all major indoor/outdoor entertainment and reduced Phase 2 gatherings to five people.
*Jul 29: Governor Inslee extended indefinitely the hold on counties progressing to the next phase.
*August 17: Clark County remains in Phase 2 with no established date to progress to Phase 3.
The amateur event now planned for this weekend met the requirements laid out in the June 24 recreational-use letter, but the current guidance from the state does not contemplate all of the peripheral activity associated with a pro national motocross event, including substantial numbers of working individuals for TV production on two different networks, our extensive medical unit and related crew, dozens of officials, and the number of crew members for most of the teams (they exceed five people, and they do not meet the requirement of being members of a common household, a provision that was not in the original June 24 guidance).
I am very sorry that the difficult decision was made not to send all of the teams, privateers, officials and TV trucks across the country to Clark County, given the uncertainty of permission to host a major professional sporting event with many, many crews of more than five people, due to the reopening hold in the state of Washington.
I hope Washougal has a very successful amateur motocross event this weekend. We have been friends and working partners with the Huffmans for 40 years. We will be back in 2021.