Monday, July 11, 2011

After the race: KY Speedway has some 'splainin to do

Kyle Busch wins Quaker State 400/
The 1st ever Quaker State 400 was run Saturday night and there were nearly 109,000 people who came to see Kyle Busch win a relatively clean, fast race.

However, not all the 109,000 with tickets made it to the race. And it wasn't because they didn't try. You see, when Bruton Smith and his folks at Speedway Management Inc. expanded the Kentucky Speedway to accommodate the much larger crowd that attends Sprint Cup races, they neglected two, rather significant things: Parking and Roads.

There were people on the road for nearly 7-hours at one point and still unable to make the race. Hundreds, no thousands, just gave up, turned around and went home. And yet, most of the day Sunday was spent with nary a peep from Smith or the folks at the Speedway.

They finally released a statement Sunday night around 7:30pm:

Speedway G.M Mark Simendinger said "Kentucky Speedway regrets the traffic conditions surrounding the Quaker State 400. We're committed to working with NASCAR, state and local officials and traffic experts to assure that this never happens again. The details of these improvements will be announced over time as they are formulated."

"We also recognize the traffic problems resulted in some fans not being able to attend the (Race). We are gathering information on this and will announce a policy for these affected fans within seven days"

NASCAR's Brian France eventually chimed in as well saying they will work with SMI to fix the problem.

We are scratching our collective heads. There apparently were traffic problems getting in and out of the Speedway a couple of years ago for an Indy Car race, which draws a third of what a Sprint Cup race does.

Without knowing the motives of those involved, we have a sneaking suspicion they closed their collective eyes and prayed really hard that it would all work out. Nobody had, or was willing, it seems, to spend the money required to upgrade the roads. Which led to the problem.

With the Satellite office being a mere 40 minutes or so from the track, we can tell you access consisted of two Interstate exits and two way in or out. That is it. The roads were mostly two--or four lanes at the most. That plus reports that they were turning people away at the parking lots because they were maxed out, was the primary problem.

We suspect, Gallatin County, Kentucky taxpayers and the state of Kentucky will soon be ponying up money they don't necessarily have to fix this problem.

Here's the end of the race, which we chose in part for the god awful "Narration" of the people who posted this--wooohooo!

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