Saturday, October 1, 2011

Racing Back to Kentucky Speedway after adverse events!

SPARTA, Ky. -- It would be fair to call the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway a debacle. That description makes general manager Mark Simendinger wince. But he doesn't deny there's little room to soften just how bad things were on July 9. "The fact is, we blew it," Simendinger said Friday. After waiting 10 years to land a coveted Sprint Cup race , the entire region eagerly anticipated what was supposed to be a spectacular Saturday night debut at a facility new track owner Bruton Smith spent millions on to make it a worthy host to one of NASCAR's premier events.

The exit ramp off of Interstate 71 that feeds into the speedway will be widened to three lanes, and the road outside the speedway will be widened to... five lanes—plus two shoulders—to give it seven full lanes on race day. The state will also pay for an underground pedestrian tunnel beneath Highway 35 to transport fans from the new parking lot to the speedway gates. SMI president Marcus Smith said the company was “overkilling it” to prove to fans Kentucky will be what many had expected for their inaugural race. “This weekend is certainly our chance to roll out a red carpet and show people that Kentucky is a great facility,” Smith said. “But we know most of that really comes next year when we prove that a Cup event at Kentucky can be successful. The people who came to the inaugural race will see the improvements, tremendous improvements, and see that we can do this right.”

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