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Kentucky Speedway Apologizes For Parking Nightmare

Kentucky Speedway
Chris Graythen / Getty Images

All eyes were on Kentucky Speedway this past weekend as the track hosted it’s first ever Sprint Cup Series race, but the excitement and anticipation quickly turned to frustration and anger because of a parking nightmare. According to track officials, as many as 20,000 race fans were turned away from the race because as late as halfway through the race, people were still waiting to get in and parked when inbound traffic switched to outbound traffic creating a huge mess. Track manager Mark Simendinger says officials are examining what went wrong and formulating a policy that will address ticket holders that never made it in. Simendinger issued a written statement saying,”we’re committed to working with NASCAR, state and local officials and traffic experts to assure this never happens again”. Both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Talladega Speedway began to capitalize on the snafu with redemption offers for fans holding ticket stubs for Kentucky Speedway.  Talladega chairman Grant Lynch said in a Sunday news release, “after hearing how rough the fans had it at Kentucky this weekend, I wanted to let them know that we’re ready to show how a race weekend is supposed to run”.  Kentucky officials hope to avoid a situation similar to what happened at Indy in 2008, when a tire debacle resulted in huge declines in attendance for the Brickyard 400 in 2009 and 2010. In an ironic twist during an impromptu news conference the day before the race, Speedway chairman Bruton Smith, when asked about the traffic said, “it’s going to be a problem. We expect everybody to be home by Tueday. The problem was much more serious than expected and Kentucky Speedway hopes to get a chance for redemption for next year and feel confident they can use that 12 months to formulate a plan that will work. By the way, Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in Saturday’s race.

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