Every year, NASCAR seems to become more and more popular. And as the sport grows from coast to coast, the increasing desire for local tracks to add NASCAR events become evident.
Luckily for the Tri-State area, Kentucky Speedway was afforded the opportunity to host its first Sprint Cup race in 2011 and the 1.5-mile track has never looked back.
Aside from the parking issue that plagued the track and overshadowed the first Sprint Cup event, the track has produced some intense racing. There have been three deifferent winners in three years during Sprint Cup competition.
And now, thanks to a bit of a trade mark on the track and a marketing campaign of the racing surface, Kentucky Speedway has formed its own identity, which separates it from any other 1.5-mile track on the NASCAR schedule.
There have been commercials airing, claiming Kentucky Speedway is the roughest track in NASCAR, a claim that Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Sprint Cup series, couldn’t deny.
“… It’s definitely the roughest track in NASCAR,” Kenseth said. “It’s really, really bumpy, but I think there’s a couple lanes there you can pass. It is a unique mile-and-a-half. The Turn 4 exit is different than any other mile-and-a-half we go to. You know, it’s definitely rough and it’s definitely unique.”
Most cities dream of hosting Sprint Cup races, Kenseth knows the fans in Kentucky are relishing their opportunity.
” … But the fans I think in that area or the area where the track is, they’ve always been real passionate and real supportive of it,” Kenseth said. “I remember watching Nationwide races on TV there and just seeing a packed house. I think the drivers like it because it’s unique, it’s a different track than the same old one you’ve been going to forever. It was something new, something different, a different part of the country, so I think everybody looked forward to that, as well.”
If you have not been too a NASCAR race at Kentucky Speedway, I encourage you to invest in the opportunity. It’s worth the time and the money. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @crslone.