Kentucky Speedway (Images of Modern America)
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The history of Kentucky Speedway is as colorful as the flags waved from its flag stand and the cars that dart around its 1.5-mile track. The path to its position on NASCARs Sprint Cup Series schedule included more twists and turns than the roads leading to Sparta, Kentucky. Ultimately, it took Speedway Motorsports Inc. buying the track from its founders in 2008 for developer Jerry Carrolls vision to be realized three years later when the venue hosted its inaugural Quaker State 400. It is all part of the history of a speedway that brought a major-league sport to the Bluegrass State.
in the Frank Kimmel Enduro Nationals II at Kentucky Speedway May 24, 2008. Only 69 drivers qualified for the event, and former NASCAR competitor Chuck Barnes, of Louisville, Kentucky, earned his second consecutive 150-mile event victory in his No. 51 car by 0.143 of a second ahead of Shepherdsville, Kentucky, driver Scott Williamson. Barnes battled back from a spin on Lap 35 and damage sustained by his car during a three-car incident on Lap 76. He banked a $5,000 first-place prize. (Photograph by
executive chairman Bruton Smith announced on May 22, 2008, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, that SMI had reached an agreement to buy Kentucky Speedway. The $78.3 million deal included the assumption of $63.3 million debt. The purchase became complete on December 31, 2008. (Photograph by Harold Hinson, courtesy of Kentucky Speedway.) From left to right, (first row) Kentucky state representative Royce Adams, Kentucky governor Steve Beshear, and SMI executive chairman Bruton
major-league sport was coming back to Kentucky, but the speedway had to get ready. Smith and SMI spent about $100 million to improve parking, expand camping, move the pit road 200 feet closer to the grandstands, and add 40,000 seats through the construction of a pair of grandstand towers to bring seating capacity to 107,000. The inaugural Sprint Cup race was won by Kyle Busch in 2011 but marred by the gridlock outside the track, prompting millions more in infrastructure work to be done on-site
prevented many fans from gaining entrance because the grassy parking areas around the facility had turned too muddy and mushy for parking cars. The resulting backup of traffic on I-71 forced track officials and Kentucky State Police to agree to close the gates. Officials later announced they would refund money for tickets purchased by anyone turned away.” (Photograph by Jim Supplee.) Roush Racing driver Greg Biffle captured the 12th of his eventual 16 career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet into the lead. He finished 2.017 seconds behind Blaney, who notched his first career Nationwide victory in just his 15th start in the series. (Photograph by Jim Supplee.) Four BEYOND NASCAR Tim Steele won the inaugural Kentucky 150 ARCA race by less than one second, leading 63 laps in his HS Die-Softech Ford. He started from the outside of the front row and took the lead for the first time on Lap 14. In the end, he beat Bob Strait to the finish line by 0.968