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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Speedway is hoping the third time is a charm. Traffic problems in 2011 caused attendance to sputter in 2012. Now, track officials are hoping to rev up the crowd when NASCAR returns this week.
Last year Kentucky Speedway appeared to have solved the traffic and parking nightmare that marred the 2011 race. So track officials are hoping the big crowds will return.
The Cox family from Beattyville hauls its camper to NASCAR tracks across the country.
"We've been to Bristol, Martinsville, Daytona," said Cheryl Cox.
This is their third year at Kentucky Speedway, and they say it's always a great experience.
"If you're coming to the racetrack, think ahead, plan ahead. You know you're going to have traffic. Come early. There's plenty do do.There's lots to see. And if you come early, you're not going to have any troubles," said Cox.
The Speedway is hoping that word spreads.
Last year thousands of fans stayed away, even after the track spent millions to upgrade traffic and parking following 2011's horrific bottleneck.
"I think people will come because they've heard that we got it fixed. Maybe they've talked to their buddies that were here last year, and they didn't have any problem. So, yes, I think people have an opportunity to come here and enjoy the day, and they want to come back," said track spokesman Tim Bray.
The track has made only minor changes this year, from the Quaker State green paint job on the wall, to reinforced safety fencing and upgraded concessions.
But track owner Bruton Smith wants more. He wants the state to widen I-71 towards Cincinnati.
In an interview with the Lexington Herald Leader, he called I-71 "A disgrace to Kentucky."
The track spokesman backed off that today.
"Well. that's for the state to figure out down the road. But we are grateful for what they done so far for us," said Bray.
Track officials are hoping, this year, most fans are like the Coxes, focusing on the traffic on the racetrack.
"We just love the redneck racing," laughed Cox.
The action gets under way Thursday with the truck race; then Friday, the Nationwide series race; and wraps up on Saturday with the Quaker State 400.