Friday, February 18, 2000

Bit of Indy will live on at new track

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPARTA — Kentucky Speedway, the 1.5-mile tri-oval under construction, may be state of the art, but it will also feature a little bit of auto racing history.

        Speedway Vice President Mark Cassis said speedway officials learned recently that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was installing a new winner's circle platform as part of a major refurbishing at the venerable track. The old winner's circle was for sale.

        “We went to Indy, looked at it and bought it,” Mr. Cassis said. “We were happy to get it. It means that the new speedway will also have some real racing history.”

        The winner's circle platform is used to display the winning car immediately after a race.

        The $152 million Kentucky Speedway is scheduled to open June 16-17 with a NASCAR Slim Jim Racing Series event on Saturday followed by a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Sunday.

        Mr. Cassis also pointed out that Kentucky Speedway will feature the latest in safety and convenience for spectators and race crews.

        “The catch fence in front of the grandstand is the highest in the country at 22 feet with an 8-foot overhang,” he said.

        The speedway will seat close to 70,000 race fans in its initial configuration. However, it is designed to expand to 150,000 seats if NASCAR awards the track a Winston Cup event.

        Mr. Cassis said ticket sales continue to be brisk as workers install grandstand seating and work on the interiors of the 50 private suites.

        “We only have about 500 seats left in the (4,700-seat) tower section,” he said.

        Those seats, high above the suites, sell for $220 and are considered the best grandstand-style seating at the track.

        Similarly, there are only about 200 seats left — at $1,200 a seat — for the exterior club, an area within the main grandstand with stadium-style seats, a private conces sion area and in-seat concession service.

        “We've really been impressed with the sale of the RV (recreational vehicle) positions on the back straightaway,” Mr. Cassis said.

        “We have 50 spots, with hookups, at $1,500 a year, and there are only eight left.”

        Individual race/seat ticket sales begin March 6.


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