LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Speedway is getting a much needed track repaving and added drainage improvements in time for July’s NASCAR weekend in Sparta.
“The story that we’ve had every year leading up to this has been ‘it’s older, it’s bumpy, it’s got character,’” said Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger during a news conference Thursday at the Sports and Social Club. “That made for really exciting and interesting racing…but the fact is, the track was worn out.”
In the past, the Speedway connections avoided talking about the issues with the bumpy track but later embraced it, even mentioning it on advertisements for race weekends. Drivers never backed away from the challenge of racing on an uneven surface and found different ways to approach the races. This year, they’ll find a track with a smoother surface and a track that is undergoing improvements that will aid in draining water from the surface.
“The track basically reared its ugly head this year and told us it was time to be replaced,” said Speedway Motorsports Vice President of Operations Steve Swift.
Other changes at the track this season include the addition of more SAFER barriers and other wall safety improvements as well as increased banking in turns one and two.
The first race of the season is scheduled for July 7th, when the NASCAR trucks take the track. The XFINITY series is set for July 8th with the Sprint Cup’s Quaker State 400 scheduled for Saturday July 9th.
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