Speedway Motor Sports (SMI) and Kentucky Speedway Prepare for May 6 Opening ARCA Race the “Drive Smart, Buckle-Up! Kentucky 150”
The paragraph following is from a May 6, 2009 investor relations release by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI)
“Bruton Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) stated, “We are extremely excited about showcasing our first ARCA RE/MAX Series racing event on May 9th, and NASCAR Nationwide Series racing event on June 13th, at SMI’s newly purchased Kentucky Speedway. SMI plans to make many ‘fan-friendly’ facility improvements in multiple phases, including creating new infield camping areas, expanded parking, improved access roads, along with new concession, camping, restroom and other fan amenities. We continue working with Kentucky state lawmakers on possible tax incentives to facilitate expansion and improvement, and intend to realign a Sprint Cup Series event to our Kentucky Speedway at the earliest opportunity. We look forward to creating a first-class facility and conducting exciting racing for this very desirable market area.”
Smith is a big-picture guy—with a reputation for delivering what he promises. He reminds me of the guy who said: “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little while.”
Today’s view of Kentucky Speedway shows substantial progress on those “fan friendly” changes. The state tax breaks requested by Smith are taking a little while. As our Kentucky legislature has a tendency to do, it adjourned without voting on the request. Let’s hope they get back to it soon as the investment should produce a nice return to Kentucky taxpayers and to racing fans.
Racing fans have cause for optimism. The Kentucky Speedway, already a very nice facility, is undergoing massive enhancements. On April 29th track officials briefed media representatives and hosted a tour of the facility. Some changes will be in place for the May 9 ARCA race. Steve Swift, SMI Construction Manager, says all changes will be in place for the June 16 NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend. Changes underway include infield camping and tailgating areas, more parking space with easier access from parking to seating areas, more ticket booths/entrance gates and shower facilities for campers. .
April 29 at Kentucky Speedway also included an ARCA press conference and a day of ARCA testing on the 1 ½ mile track. Rookie Parker Kligerman and veteran Frank Kimmel represented drivers. Kligerman, a seventeen year old rookie, is the current points leader. The veteran Kimmel holds a record nine series championships and ranks third in points in this year’s competition. Both did extensive testing on the track and feel good about the upcoming race. Kimmel feels he is running at his best and likes the Kentucky Speedway track.
As a rookie, Kligerman is experiencing every ARCA track for the first time. When asked how he adjusts to the changes from short to long tracks his response was that it is tricky, he uses a simulator a lot and “runs as fast as he can without wrecking.” Kligerman said he models himself after Kimmel and they worked together some in the Daytona race.
View event photos at: http://www.luvracinron.smugmug.com/gallery/8068404_k6jUm
Event info and tickets: www.kentuckyspeedway.com, Tickets.com
Entries, Driver info, etc.: www.arcaracing.com
Ron Singleton, LuvRacin.com, firstname.lastname@example.org