1 Speedway Drive
Sparta, KY 41086
Phones: (888) 652-7223, (859) 578-2300
Sprint Cup Series title sponsor: Quaker State is signed thru 2018
Track/Race Length: 1.5 mile oval, 267 laps, 400 miles
Banking in turns 1-4: 14 degrees
Banking in tri-oval: 10 degrees
Banking on backstretch: 4 degrees
Length of frontstretch: 1,662 feet
Length of backstretch: 1,600 feet
Length of short chute from start/finish to Turn 1: 681 feet
Length of apex of tri-oval at the start/finish Line: 300 feet
Length of short chute from Turn 4 to start/finish: 681 feet
Grandstand Seating: 107,000
Luxury Suites: 36
90-Seat Private Interior Kentucky Club
2,100-Seat Private Exterior Bluegrass Club
Terrace Boxes: 10
Private, Backstretch RV Spaces: 125
Infield RV Spaces: 650
Additional Reserved RV Spaces: 6,500
Parking For More Than 30,000 Cars
July 2015 Race Winner: #18-Kyle Busch, 129.402mph, started 9th
Track Race Record: #2-Brad Keselowski, 6/30/2012, 145.607mph
Slowest Race Record: #18-Kyle Busch, 7/11/2015, 129.402mph
Oldest Race Winner: Matt Kenseth, 41 years, 3 months, and 20 days, 6/30/2013
Youngest Race Winner: Kyle Busch, 26 years, 2 months, 7 days, 7/9/2011
Worst Starting Spot to Win: #20-Matt Kenseth, 6/30/2013, started 26th
July 2015 Pole Winner: none, due to inclement weather
Track Qualifying Record: #2-Brad Keselowski, 6/27/2014, 188.791mph
Oldest Pole Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 38 years, 8 months, and 18 days, 6/28/2013
Youngest Pole Winner: Brad Keselowski; 30 years, 4 months, and 14 days; 6/27/2014
Most Wins: 2 - Brad Keselowski & Kyle Busch
Most Poles: 1 - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski; (rained out - 2 times)
Most Top 5s: 4 - Kyle Busch; 3 - Matt Kenseth
Most Top 10s: 5 - Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson & Kyle Busch
Most Laps Led by a Race Winner: Brad Keselowski, 6/28/2014, 199 laps
Most Laps Led (didn't win): Jimmie Johnson, 6/30/2013, 182 laps
Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: Matt Kenseth, 6/30/2013, 38 laps
Most Lead Changes: 20 - 7/9/2011
Fewest Lead Changes: 11 - 6/30/2013
Most Leaders: 12 - 7/9/2011
Fewest Leaders: 3 - 6/28/2014
Most Cautions: 11, 7/11/2015
Most Caution Laps: 49, 7/11/2015
Fewest Cautions: 4, 6/30/2012
Fewest Caution Laps: 24, 6/30/2012
Most Running at the Finish: 40 - 7/11/2015
Fewest Running at the Finish: 32 - 6/30/2012 & 6/30/2013
Most Wins by Manufacturer: Toyota, 3; Ford, 1; Dodge, 1
PAST RACE WINNERS
2015: #18-Kyle Busch, Toyota, 129.402, started 9th (qualifying rained out, set by rules book)
2014: #2-Brad Keselowski, Ford, 139.723, started 1st
2013: #20-Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 131.948, started 16th
2012: #2-Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 145.607, started 8th
2011: #18-Kyle Busch, Toyota, 137.314, started 1st (qualifying rained out, set by rules book)
PAST POLE WINNERS
2015: #42-Kyle Larson, Chevy, no speed / rained out / set by rules book/practice speeds, finished 35th
2014: #2-Brad Keselowski, Ford, 188.791mph, finished 1st
2013: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevy, 183.636mph, finished 12th
2012: #48-Jimmie Johnson, Chevy, 181.818mph, finished 6th
2011: #18-Kyle Busch, Toyota, no speed / rained out / set by points, finished 1st
Frankie Ballard performing at Kentucky: Country music star Frankie Ballard will entertain race fans with a special performance on Kentucky Speedway's infield Kroger pre-race stage prior to the July 9 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts. The singer/songwriter's third studio album El Rio is scheduled to be released June 10. An album he describes as being "a spiritual journey." Fans are able to hear his newest single "El Camino" described by many as an upbeat and light song with a summertime vibe. The Warner Bros. Records Nashville artist has teamed up with Grammy award-winner Chris Stapleton, Kip Moore, Jaren Johnston, The Warren Brothers and well-known songwriter Craig Wiseman for "Cigarette," "Sweet Time," "Waste Some of Mine," and "Little Bit of Both." El Rio follows his Sunshine & Whiskey album which produced three consecutive No. 1 singles - "Sunshine & Whiskey," "Helluva Life," and "Young & Crazy." Ballard's signature rock sounds can be heard at 5:15pm., prior to the Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts race where race tickets are as low as $59.(Kentucky Speedway)(5-4-2016)
Terry Labonte to Appear at Kentucky Speedway's Ford Fan Day: Kentucky Speedway's Ford Fan Day returns Saturday, April 30 from 11:00am-4:00pm. The free event gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the venue, view the track renovation project while enjoying family oriented activities and a chance to chat with this year's special guest, 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Terry Labonte. The Texas native and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be available for two question-and-answer sessions starting at 12:30pm, with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ThorSport Racing driver Ben Rhodes, and again at 2:15pm. Both sessions will take place on the stage near the Indiana Tower. Guests will have the opportunity for an autograph at approximately 1:30pm. Limit two items per person and time is subject to change. Guests will be able to tour the spotters stand, flag stand, owner's suite, press box, and campgrounds. Visitors are able to have their photo taken with the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts trophy when you visit the owner's suite. Fans can learn more about the track renovations from Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger during the "Ask the GM" question-and-answer session at noon on the stage near the Indiana Tower. Attendees will also have the opportunity to test drive the all-new 2016 Ford F-150.(Kentucky Speedway)(4-3-2016)
Magpul Industries sponsoring Pole Day at Kentucky: Magpul Industries Corp., is expanding its partnership with Kentucky Speedway by becoming the official Pole Day sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series Friday, July 8. The Magpul partnership has given the brand numerous signage opportunities throughout the race weekends. In addition, Magpul is a proud sponsor of Kentucky Speedway's annual Top Cop Challenge program where police officers from regional jurisdictions compete in NASCAR stock cars to identify the fastest officer. This year's Top Cop Challenge will be held in September. Magpul was founded in 1999 with the intent of developing a simple device to aid in the manipulation of rifle magazines while reloading under stress. The company's name comes from this original product called the Magpul. Over the last decade Magpul has continued to grow and develop using much the same mission and process with a focus on innovation, simplicity, and efficiency. Kentucky Speedway's 2016 season begins in July with the return of a NASCAR tripleheader weekend anchored by the July 9 Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts. The Camping World Truck Series starts the weekend with the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 Thursday, July 7 and the XFINITY Series Alsco 300 Friday, July 8.(Kentucky Speedway)(3-23-2016)
University of Northwestern Ohio extends partnership with Kentucky Speedway: The University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) extends its longtime relationship with Kentucky Speedway for three years and will continue to be the "Official Education Partner of Kentucky Speedway." Kentucky Speedway will provide UNOH with numerous advertising and promotional components. Plus, the speedway will utilize its racing platform and large loyal fan base to promote UNOH, host an orientation program for future students and provide business to business opportunities for the UNOH motorsports program through 2018. Located in Lima, Ohio, UNOH grants masters, baccalaureate, and associate degrees through its Colleges of Applied Technologies, Business, Occupational Professions, Health Professions, and Graduate Programs along with online degree options. The College of Applied Technologies prepares students for careers in the motorsports and automotive industries through specialized automotive, high performance motorsports, diesel, agricultural, and alternate fuels programs. The UNOH College of Applied Technologies has built a storied motorsports history through its involvement in the ARCA Racing Series, three NASCAR national touring series, and NHRA. In 1992, UNOH became the first university in the world to feature a high performance motorsports program. More than 4,500 students are currently enrolled at UNOH from all 50 states and 32 foreign countries.(Kentucky Speedway)(2-5-2016)
Kentucky truck race gets sponsor: Kentucky Speedway has partnered with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) in 2016 to sponsor the Thursday, July 7 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The partnership is centered on the "Buckle Up in Your Truck" (BUIYT) campaign to bring awareness to seatbelt use in pickup trucks. The Camping World Truck Series Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 will kick off a NASCAR tripleheader weekend. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety's BUIYT campaign, an aspect of safety within the Transportation Cabinet, works in conjunction with "Click It or Ticket" program. Their research found that drivers and occupants of pickup trucks were less likely to use their safety belt than in any other type of vehicle. By using the Camping World Truck Series race as a platform the goal is to increase public awareness of the lack of safety belt use in pickup trucks, educate drivers to buckle up and diminish fatalities.(Kentucky Speedway)(2-4-2016)
VisitMyrtleBeach.com renews sponsorship for Kentucky's fall XFINITY Race: One of the fastest-growing family and vacation destinations in the nation, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has renewed as the title sponsor of the Saturday, Sept. 24 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300. The Myrtle Beach area welcomes over 17 million visitors annually, many of whom travel from Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana to experience true southern hospitality along 60 miles of beautiful, sandy beaches. The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway will conclude a two-race weekend that begins Friday, Sept. 23 with the ARCA Racing Series Crosley 150. The 2016 season at Kentucky Speedway begins in July with the return of a NASCAR tripleheader weekend anchored by the July 9 Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts. The Camping World Truck Series starts the weekend with the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 Thursday, July 7 and the XFINITY Series Alsco 300 Friday, July 8.(Kentucky Speedway)(2-4-2016)
Alsco becomes title sponsor for July XFINITY Race at Kentucky: A multi-year entitlement sponsorship was announced by Kentucky Speedway and Alsco for the speedway's Friday, July 8 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Alsco is a worldwide leader in the rental of linen, uniforms, healthcare garments, and washroom products. The family-run business introduced linen and uniform rental services to the world in 1889. Founded by George Steiner in Lincoln, Nebraska more than 125 years ago, the company has ridden the wheels of change, rising to the top of the linen and uniform industry and expanding worldwide. Alsco boasts over 300,000 customers served by 18,000 employees and 150 branches, in fourteen countries, covering 5 continents. The XFINITY Series Alsco 300 is part of a NASCAR tripleheader weekend at Kentucky Speedway that will begin Thursday, July 7 with a 225-mile Camping World Truck event, and concludes with the Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts on Saturday, July 9. All races are at night.(Kentucky Speedway)(1-21-2016)
Atlanta Motor Speedway & Kentucky Speedway repaving in 2016? UPDATE4 Kentucky to repave: From an interview with Danny James of the Lane Construction Corporation. James is the Mechanical Supervisor responsible for overseeing the paving of racetracks such as Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway. James is supervising the paving the Dominion Raceway in Spotsylvania, VA. During the interview, James said Lane Construction has been contracted to repave Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway in 2016. The video interview which had been on the Dominion Raceway Facebook page, was removed Wednesday afternoon and the same video on YouTube is now private.(11-18-2015)
UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway posted on their twitter: A repave has been looked into, but at this time, there are not any plans to do so.(11-18-2015)
UPDATE2: Kentucky Speedway may be due for a repave in 2016, but it's still plenty possible the track chooses to wait out another year with its bumpy surface. That's despite what Lane Construction Corporation's Danny James said in a recent interview circulating social media Wednesday. In a video published to Facebook, James said his company has been contracted to repave Kentucky Speedway and the Atlanta Motor Speedway, both owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. "I'm not exactly sure why he's talking about what we're doing," said Mark Simendinger, Kentucky Speedway's general manager. "If I were him, I'd be more focused on Lane Construction Corporation is up to -- not what we're up to." Simendinger said repaving is something track officials have discussed with Lane Construction and other contractors. "Have we made up our mind with what we're going to do? No," Simendinger said. "We're not going to ask (James) to make our media announcements for us. We evaluate it every year. We're evaluating it right now. That shouldn't come as a surprise."(Courier-Journal)(11-18-2015)
UPDATE 3: Atlanta Motor Speedway was last resurfaced in 1997 and today is among the oldest racing surfaces on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. While track officials are constantly monitoring the track's condition, there are, at this time, no plans in place to resurface the track. A favorite among many NASCAR drivers, the aged, abrasive surface produces slick racing conditions and some of the fastest tire fall-off in NASCAR. With very little alteration since its most recent repave 18 years ago, regularly scheduled maintenance programs, including filling cracks with pavement preservation products, is performed on the 1.54-mile asphalt surface between races. Mild Georgia winters and the thorough maintenance program have played a key factor in the track's longevity.(AMS)(11-24-2015)
UPDATE 4: Kentucky Speedway announces it is undertaking a comprehensive renovation of its racing surface which is highlighted by increased banking in Turns 1 and 2 and further includes drainage improvements, additional SAFER barrier, and repaving of the entire 1.5-mile tri-oval. Work has begun and will be completed in time for this year's NASCAR tripleheader weekend in July. "Modifying Turns 1 and 2 will present an exciting challenge to the drivers while addressing issues of the track surface, SAFER barrier and drainage will improve safety, which is always our paramount concern," said General Manager of Kentucky Speedway, Mark Simendinger. The project will be coordinated by Vice President of Operations and Development for Speedway Motorsports Inc., Steve Swift. "We have assembled an excellent team, all of whom are familiar with the demands of speedway construction. I am excited about the finished product as we wanted to present a unique challenge to the drivers. This design, with Turns 1 and 2 completely different than 3 and 4 accomplishes that goal. The big winner will be the race fan," said Swift.(Kentucky Speedway)(1-5-2016)
Speedway Children's Charities Distributes Nearly $2.9 Million Nationwide: Speedway Children's Charities officials have announced that the nonprofit will distribute nearly $2.9 million in grants to more than 390 different charitable organizations across the country in 2015, bringing the total funds distributed since 1982 to more than $46 million.
"My parents started Speedway Children's Charities from modest beginnings with the goal of helping children in physical, financial, emotional and medical need," said Marcus Smith, vice chairman of Speedway Children's Charities. "From that first chapter at Charlotte Motor Speedway to now eight chapters at Speedway Motorsports' facilities nationwide, we've far surpassed their early expectations. But as long as there is a need, Speedway Children's Charities will continue working to improve the lives of children by supporting local nonprofits that help children in hundreds of local communities."
Funds distributed by Speedway Children's Charities chapters at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway totaled $2,886,902 in 2015. Speedway Children's Charities raises grant money through various fundraising activities, including clay shoots, track events, auctions, holiday light displays and more.
"It was a banner year for Speedway Children's Charities, and we can't thank the race fans, sponsors, volunteers, team owners, drivers and staff enough for all of their efforts to help children in need," said Maj. Gen. Chuck Swannack, executive director of Speedway Children's Charities. "Every single dollar or volunteer hour makes a difference, and these fundraising results will have a true impact to help children in need of a brighter future." For more information on SCC or to see how to volunteer or make a donation, visit www.speedwaycharities.org.(CMS)(12-16-2015)
Kentucky expects same date on next year's schedule: If there are major shakeups to next year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, a shift in date for the Kentucky Speedway won't likely be among them. Officials at the Sparta, Ky., track anticipate the Quaker State 400 again running in 2016 on the second Saturday night in July, one week after NASCAR's stop at Daytona. "We are expecting to be on the same weekend next year," Kentucky Speedway's general manager, Mark Simendinger, said Monday. "I'd be very surprised if we aren't. Nothing's official until it's official, but that's what we're all planning on." NASCAR has taken longer this year to release the upcoming slate. By the end of August 2014, the 2015 schedule was out.(Louisville Courier-Journal)(9-22-2015)
Kentucky Speedway announces race officials: Kentucky Speedway announced Scott Schult will serve as grand marshal and the honorary starter will be Johanna Hodge for Saturday's, Sept. 26 NASCAR XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Schult, the executive vice president of marketing, has been in destination marketing for 18 years, and has spent the past eight years with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Myrtle Beach. The honorary starter will be Johanna Hodge, marketing production manager for Visit Myrtle Beach. Hodge oversees the advertising and publishing for various publications and member referral programs. Fans visiting the speedway throughout the weekend will be able to test their surfing skills on a mechanical surfboard, view a sand sculpture featuring last year's XFINITY Series race winner Brendan Gaughan, and our "Smiles in the Sand" Facebook photo contest winner. Kroger Fan Zone passes are available for those wanting to see an up-close, infield view of driver introductions, have access to pit road during designated times, view of inspection and garages on race day and more fun activities.(Kentucky Speedway)(9-21-2015)
Laps for Charity returns to Kentucky Speedway: The Kentucky Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities will host its Fourth Annual Laps for Charity from 9:00am-12:00pm on Saturday, September 19 at Kentucky Speedway. Weather permitting, this fundraiser will be held one week prior to the track's September race weekend, which includes the ARCA Racing Series Crosley 150 and NASCAR XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300. This family-friendly event allows fans the opportunity to drive five laps around the track in their street-legal personal vehicles and have their photo taken in Victory Lane. The cost for this opportunity is $40 per vehicle. Drivers may purchase additional rides of five laps for $30 apiece. Each five-lap ride is an entry for the driver to win the door prize, a 1:24 Dale Earnhardt Jr. diecast. All funds raised from this event are put directly back into the tri-state community through SCC's annual grant distribution program, where funding is provided to non-profit children's organizations who care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need.(Kentucky Speedway)(9-2-2015)
NASCAR explains decision to cancel Kentucky qualifying: NASCAR's decision to cancel Sprint Cup qualifying Friday at Kentucky Speedway to give teams more practice time raised questions among some fans and led to #21-Ryan Blaney, #95-Michael McDowell and #30-Travis Kvapil failing to make the field. Monday, Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained on "The Morning Drive" the sanctioning body's decision to cancel qualifying for both Cup and the Xfinity Series last week.
Although extra practice time had been scheduled, rain and water seeping up to the track limited Cup teams to 49 minutes of practice before the decision was made to cancel qualifying and give teams an additional 90 minutes of practice. "Under all the circumstances we were faced with (at Kentucky) ... the desire from the majority of the garage to get some more time on the track prior to the race became our priority at that point," O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "And then the challenges we had drying the track. We didn't know if we'd even get to a point where we could get cars on the track, so we elected to go early and have everybody focus on setting up for the race. One of the challenges for the teams is it's a three-hour transition going to qualifying trim vs. going back. It also helped the teams that were there to really prepare everything for the race vs. qualifying. Certainly, we can be challenged for that, but it was something that that race and the circumstances dictated for us, and, ultimately, the decision we made wanting to put the best possible race on Saturday night."(NBC Sports)(7-13-2015)
Kentucky Speedway has made no decision on when to repave: It's still too soon for Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger to answer one of the biggest questions moving forward about the 1.5-mile oval in Sparta, Ky. When's the time to finally re-pave? "We've got a track that certainly produced great races," Simendinger said Sunday, after Kyle Busch won the previous night's Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. "Normally you'd say, 'Don't touch those.' But we also have a track that took us almost four hours to dry, so that's not good." Paired with a new NASCAR rules package that drew rave reviews from drivers, Kentucky Speedway's 15-year-old surface produced its best Cup Series product yet on Saturday night. Competitors were able to pass both on the yellow line and near the wall, with Busch and eventual runner-up Joey Logano changing the lead more than once inside the final 20 laps. While all three races during the triple-header weekend went off without a hitch, qualifying for each -- plus extra Cup Series testing time for the low-downforce rules package -- was washed out. Rain didn't necessarily prevent a dry track, but rather "weepers" -- ground water spewing up through cracks in the track surface. "It was a very, very unusual situation as far as us being in the middle of July and having such saturated ground," Simendinger said. "We don't want to overreact -- let everything settle in and get feedback from our drivers and maintenance guys." Either way, Simendinger said, a potential re-pave wouldn't happen before the NASCAR Xfinity Series' return to Sparta, Ky., this September. Then track officials have until the following summer to make a decision about the surface for next summer's Quaker State 400 weekend.(Louisville Courier-Journal)(7-13-2015)
Kyle Busch wins at Kentucky: #18-Kyle Busch won the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 2nd win at Kentucky, and 31st career win. He led 163 of the 267 laps.
#22-Logano finished 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #19-Edwards, #20-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #24-Gordon, #4-Harvick, #48-Johnson, and #41-Busch.
#42-Larson, who started from the pole, had to pit for a tire rub with 50 laps to go, then made contact with the wall and finished 35th.
Harvick increases the drivers points lead to 68 points. #48-Johnson and #22-Logano are tied for 2nd.
Busch is now just 87 points out of 30th (to get in the Chase) and needs around a 17th place average finish to crack the top 30 in the 8 races before the Chase.
There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers. There were 11 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps. The 11 cautions are a record at Kentucky Speedway.
The average speed was 129.402mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)(7-11-2015)
Kentucky honors Jeff Gordon...with bourbon: Kentucky Speedway, Speedway Motorsports Inc., Kentucky Distillers Association and four prominent Kentucky distillers presented a special "thank you" to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon, who is competing in his final full-time season. Four Roses, Jim Beam, Michter's and Wild Turkey each gave the four-time Sprint Cup Series champion 24 bottles with each bottle featuring a special one-of-a-kind autographed label. Kentucky is internationally known for its bourbon whiskey producing 95 percent of the world's supply. KDA gave Gordon a trunk full of glassware, barware and other gifts to enjoy his new collection and to remember his time in Kentucky, the one, true and authentic home for bourbon. The Master Distillers from each distiller were in attendance. If Gordon wins at Kentucky, he will be the first driver to win at every track on the current Sprint Cup Series schedule. He has finished in the top ten in each of the first four Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts races.(Kentucky Speedway)(7-11-2015)
Kentucky Speedway adding SAFER barriers to walls: Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger says track officials have long considered adding more Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barriers to the Sparta, Ky., track's walls. "And then with what happened to Kyle Busch, it ratcheted up the urgency," Simendinger said Monday. Simendinger said Monday that by this July's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend, his track plans to add the so-called soft to its back stretch. "Sometimes you have to see what can possibly happen before you realize that you've got a problem that needs to be corrected," Simendinger said. "Obviously it's an expensive thing to do. It takes time. But it's something we're committed to. I've always said safety is our No. 1 thing, so that's what we're going to do assuming we can get the work done between now and our races," set for July 9-11. Already, SAFER barriers cover Kentucky's entry to corners through exits -- spots consultants deemed most likely to result in contact with race cars. Along the backstretch, the new walls could catch spinning cars off Turn 2. Ultimately, Simendinger says that "as an industry" NASCAR-sanctioned tracks will eventually cover every inch of exposed concrete wall. But it comes at a hefty cost -- approximately $500 per square foot. "It's something we work hand-in-hand with NACAR and their consultants on," he said. "...But there's not that many people that make SAFER barriers, so we've got to make sure we can get it, get it installed and do it properly."(Courier Journal)(2-24-2015)
Kentucky Speedway could get repaved soon: Look to add Kentucky Speedway to the repave list in the near future. Track president Mark Simendinger says that the racing surface, while providing outstanding action thanks to its advanced age, is on its last legs. The track is doing everything they can to keep it together and hold off on the repaving project as long as possible, but a date to pour new asphalt appears inevitable. Sources say Goodyear's tire test recently was, in part designed to see if a compound can be built to withstand the current surface well enough to "ward off" such a process within the next year or two. (The speedway was bit by several tire failures in 2013).(Frontstretch)(5-27-2014)
No repave planned for Kentucky Speedway: There would have been talk this summer, as there is every year, about repaving Kentucky Speedway when the Sprint Cup Series circuit descends upon the Sparta, Ky., track for its biggest race weekend. Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger isn't ready to give in just yet. There are no plans for a Kentucky Speedway repave unless track officials absolutely have to, and Mother Nature does that sometimes to asphalt. But in the meantime, Simendinger's maintenance staff will continue maintaining the track's original surface installed before it opened in 2000. "If you're a real motorsports fan, you know you're allowed to interchange the word "character" for bumpy," Simendinger said Tuesday. "In that regard, we have a lot of character. And that's a good thing." Drivers regularly discuss the difficulty in passing at Kentucky, though they've embraced the challenge of setting up a balanced car there. Simendinger said he hasn't fielded a single complaint from one of them about the track's, um, character. "In fact, I saw Kevin Harvick came to throw out the first pitch at one of the Reds games," Simendinger said. "He just walked up to me and didn't even say hello. He just said, 'Don't repave that race track.' The Quaker State 400, as the Cup Series race will be known through 2018, is set for June 28 during a weekend that includes Camping World Truck and Nationwide series events. The track then hosts the ARCA Racing and Nationwide series on Sept. 19-20. As with other Sprint Cup Series tracks, Kentucky Speedway will be equipped with NASCAR's "Air Titan" track drying system this season. The device sucks water off surfaces and into a truck, which NASCAR's R&D Center estimates could decrease drying times by 80%.(Courier-Journal)(2-5-2014)