SBD/March 25, 2011/Facilities

Kentucky Speedway Expansion Ahead Of Schedule; Ticket Sales Exceed Expectations

Kentucky Speedway's $82M renovation project is ahead of schedule
Kentucky Speedway officials Thursday said that with less than four months until the July 9 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400, the "extensive renovation and expansion that started in September is ahead of schedule," and ticket sales also are "exceeding expectations," according to Kevin Kelly of the KENTUCKY ENQUIRER. The $82M project includes the construction of two 19,000-seat towers that "will increase grandstand seating to about 106,000." Workers were "installing seats in one of the new towers Thursday." In addition, pit road is "being moved 200 feet closer to the grandstands for the benefit of fans," and that "should be complete by early May." The track also "has added about 3,000 new campsites." Kentucky Speedway GM Mark Simendinger said that there is "some pressure to produce a sellout crowd for the inaugural race." He "didn't put a number on tickets sold so far, but is counting on a sellout" (KENTUCKY ENQUIRER, 3/25). SMI Construction Manager Steve Swift said that "despite the scope of the expansion," the project is "one of the easier facelifts he's done for the company." Simendinger "joked the track hardly looks like the same place he walked into when it opened in 2000." Simendinger said that he "doesn't anticipate making any changes to the track, like repaving it, saying the sometimes bumpy surface has produced an exciting product during the Nationwide Series' annual visit." The AP's Will Graves noted there are "plans to update and perhaps move the garage area, but that won't happen until the fall at the earliest" (AP, 3/24).
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