SBD/November 10, 2010/Facilities

Kentucky Speedway Racing To Finish Expansion By July Cup Race

Kentucky Speedway Will Spend Estimated $50M On Improvements Prior To First Cup Race
The race is "fully on to get Kentucky Speedway ready for its inaugural" NASCAR Sprint Cup race on July 9, according to Mark Story of the LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER. Now that the "long-elusive Cup date is finally a reality, it is estimated that SMI will spend an additional $50 million on track expansion and enhancement." Already, the "framework for two towers of additional seating have risen above the existing grandstand," and when they are completed, the track "will have added 40,000 seats and have a capacity of 106,000." Workers also are "in the process of moving the track's pit road 200 feet closer to the grandstand." Bulldozers "have been working at a fevered pitch evening out land to create new camp sites," after which the number of camping facilities available at the track "will have almost quadrupled from 1,200 to some 4,500." SMI Chair & CEO Bruton Smith "has christened potential campground areas with names like Millionaire's Row, The Ponderosa and Bourbon Street." SMI Project Manager Steve Swift said that "if everything goes perfectly ... major work at the track will be done by May." But "if things don't go according to plan, work still has to be done by the first full week of July" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 11/10). In Kentucky, Kevin Kelly notes Kentucky Speedway officials yesterday "gave a progress report on the facility's $40 million expansion and led a tour of the 850-acre property." The "first 27 rows of the new 49-row Ohio and Kentucky grandstand towers are in place," and the towers "each will hold 19,000 seats." Outside of Turn 3, the visitor center is "undergoing a renovation and expansion." Kentucky Speedway GM Mark Simendinger said season-ticket sales for the track's six-race schedule in '11 are "way up" (KENTUCKY ENQUIRER, 11/10).
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