Businesses hoping for bigger boom at Quaker State 400 race - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Businesses hoping for bigger boom at this year's Quaker State 400 race

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41)---Inside Rick's First & Last Taver in Sparta, pool and beer draw in a regular crowd.

Some of them can't forget the Quaker State 400 last year during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Kentucky Speedway.

With more than 100,000 fans, traffic gridlock kept some of them from making it to the race.

"The traffic and stuff was horrible. People were walking miles and miles,"says April Gould who works at Rick's First & Last Tavern.

"The interstate was backed up both directions. Everything was just at a standstill," says Harry Smith, a Sparta resident.

That was good and bad for some businesses last year.

April Gould says Rick's First & Last Tavern did well and stayed busy with race fans, but they'd like to see even more customers this year.

The owner of the BP that is located next to the Kentucky Speedway says they were packed with fans trying to get to the race. They say fans came inside primarily looking for ice and beer.

However, some vendors took a hit.

"It hurts. When they can't get out and shop, it hurts. And it hurt them sitting so many hours and then get here and not even get to watch the race," says Ferman Ponder, a North Carolina vendor.

With improvements made this year to accommodate more fans and parking, they're hoping for a boost in business.

Should the traffic gridlock somehow happen again, some Sparta residents say they're already prepared.

"I'm going to leave for the weekend," says Harry Smith.

"Some of the neighbors bought a bunch of water, and some of their kids sold water and made $1500. So I went and stocked up on water so my kids could sell water to make extra money, just in case there is a traffic jam," says April Gould.

The Quaker State 400 will be held on Saturday, June 30th.

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