Through the Fan’s Eyes- Kentucky Speedway

July 11, 2011 No Comments

Credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Palmer

I have been very hesitant to give my “full” opinion on this weekend’s action from Kentucky Speedway, only being that I was not there. It’s really hard to get a feel for what actually went on, when you don’t have any first hand accounts. I asked several on twitter that I knew had attended the race and got back several “different” takes on what happened. I personally believe this race will forever go down in the history books, but for all of the WRONG  reasons, but is that fair? You be the judge:

From Brittany Purdon: (twitter: @blp2008)-

“Unlike most people, I had an amazing time at Kentucky. I had no issues with traffic getting there, but getting out was horrible. I took the tracks advice and got there early though, because I knew with it being the first time they had that many people at a race that traffic would be a nightmare. The state, along with the track, needs to work together and get that issue worked out. I like everything is in one place and not all spread out like at some other tracks. All of the displays, haulers Sprint and Speed zones were all in the same area which made it nice so you don’t have to walk all over. I loved the race and a big part had to do with Kyle being dominant and winning. I’ve been to other races that have had a lot less action going on than last night’s race. Just like other races, there wasn’t a whole lot of action in the middle but the end was exciting and it came down to a GWC which I’ve heard most people say they enjoy. It wasn’t a fuel mileage race but I guess because there weren’t a lot of crashes that most people didn’t enjoy it. I loved it, had a great weekend and I will be back next year.” 


From Matt Kacar: (twitter: @Matt_Kacar)-

“My Kentucky cup race experience was a lot of great stuff with some terrible stuff. It was a great time getting to see a cup race for the first time. First off it was blazing hot and with not being able to bring a cooler into the race, you had to (pay) 4 dollars for a bottle of water. I got to meet Sam Bass, David Ragan, and Denny Hamlin. Also they did not have near enough bathrooms. There was a 20 minute wait to use the restroom. Once inside the track it was smooth sailing. Had great seats and stayed there till the end. Now onto the traffic. We got there at 11:30 am about 7 hours before the race started because I knew traffic was going to be bad based on tweets during and after the nationwide race the day before. There was no traffic getting into the track. After the race we left and started the 20 minute walk to where our car was parked. We got to our car about 11 pm. It took about an hour and a half to get out of our parking spot. What a complete joke. There was no one directing traffic out of the parking lot. After about 2 hours we made it out of the parking lot and finally onto pavement. As a side note, there was a drunk fan trying to direct traffic. At about 130 am, 2 and half hours after we got to our car we made it onto the interstate which was only a half mile from the track. Thankfully we were heading south cause the north bound lanes were backed up for about 20 miles. Once on interstate there was no traffic and got home at 4am, 6 hours after we got in our car to leave the track. The main blame for this fiasco goes to Kentucky Speedway which was totally unprepared for this. They built 40000 extra seats but didn’t add any more parking spots. That’s a major fail on their part. They should not have had a cup date if they couldn’t handle the traffic and the combination of not enough parking spots and a two lane interstate made this a terrible situation. It overshadowed the actual race. The article in our paper focused almost entirely on the traffic problems and not on Kyle Busch winning the race. I will not be going back to that track any time soon. Still was awesome to finally get to see my first cup race live!”        


From Cheri McCollum: (twitter: @cheri518)-

“My husband & I came from southeast Ohio Friday night; we stayed at a hotel in Clermont. It was 50 miles from the track & reasonable in price. We left for the track before 6:00 Saturday morning. We have friends that have been to the nationwide races before & knew traffic was an issue. Of course being that early, we got to the track with no problems in less than an hour. The lots were supposed to open at 8:00. We were 3rd in line & were told by attendant we could not stop in line. He told us to go get breakfast & come back. When we said we had breakfast & didn’t want to leave, he said well drive around then. A little after 7:00 we asked to use the port-a-potty & when my husband told the guy they were letting people line up he let us in. The bathrooms were fine until about noon. I stood in line with about 100 women waiting for 10-12 stalls for almost an hour. We were in the first lot behind the grandstands & there was 1 port-a-potty at the end of our row with a constant line. Around 4:00 they brought in extra port-a-potty’s. I was impressed because it was obvious they were making an effort to fix the problem. Most people I’ve talked to say it was too little too late. We didn’t have any issues getting in the track but finding our seats was a joke. We were in the Kentucky tower, section J2, and row 14. When I asked the track employee if we were in the right area, she said yep, now start at 39 & count down until you get to 14 for the row. I thought she was joking. She wasn’t, the rows were not marked. I found this ridiculous. My husband & I don’t drink, but I’ve been to enough races to know a lot of fans indulge prior to the race. Asking people who have been drinking all day to count backwards as they go down steps just seems like a bad idea. We asked several people in our area what row they were in. In 1 row we got 3 different answers. There were people in the wrong sections, wrong rows, and wrong seats. We have been going to at least 1 race every year for 17 years at 9 different tracks. I’ve never seen rows not marked somehow, somewhere. We waited until 3:00 to leave the track, took back roads to get to I71 & only went about 20 mph until we got to I75. It took us about an hour & half to get back. Not bad, really but for 3:00 am it should have been better. Will I go back? Probably not. I would rather spend my money on a better race.”

From Tony Alexander:

“Kentucky Speedway is located in a very rural area. It sets beside I-71, but after the interstate, the road is mostly 2 lanes. There needs to be major improvements to the roads and the parking around the track. We arrived at 8:30am and no problems what so ever. The restroom issue also needs to be addressed. There is a large facility in the parking lot in front of the track, but the folks were lined around it waiting to get in. It was in no way large enough to handle that amount of people. There were porta-johns in the parking lot we were in, I saw 3. We were in the handicapped lot, my dad has the pass, and 3 were not nearly enough for that size of lot. They needed several more of those all around the parking lots. Kentucky Speedway is a very nice facility, as with anything new, they will get the bugs worked out. It was a learning experience for all involved. I hope we can keep the race here for a very long time. I’m already looking forward to next year’s race. I WILL be there!!!”

After hearing some of these stories, what is your take on the incident, would you be back?

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