Sunday, May 28, 2000

AUTO RACING INSIDER


Speedway resurfacing ahead of schedule

By Tom Groeschen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The resurfacing of the new 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway is ahead of schedule, with no apparent delays for the track's opening weekend June 16-17.

        The new surface should be completed by Tuesday, about a week ahead of schedule.

        “This gives us a few more weeks for the track to cure,” said Mark Cassis, Speedway vice president. “Everything else is on schedule.”

        Bill Moss, the track's chief engineer, said there was movement in the track's asphalt surface over the winter. Moss ordered a remeasuring and leveling of the surface, something apparently not unusual with new tracks. The Gateway track near St. Louis and the Texas speedway both experienced surface failures during their openings, something Kentucky hopes to prevent.

        TICKET SALES: Kentucky Speedway will seat 65,989 for its opening phase, and Cassis reports the following ticket sales:

        • For June 16 (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pole night plus a NASCAR Slim Jim All-Pro Race): About 22,000 tickets sold.

        • For June 17 (“Grand Opening” with the Craftsman Truck race): About 43,000 tickets sold. Admission includes a pre-race concert by veteran rocker Joe Walsh at 4 p.m.

        Also, the track has sold about 21,000 tickets for its Indy Racing League event on Aug. 27.

        HAULER PARADE: There have been revisions for the Speed way's “Hauler Parade” of Craftsman Truck rigs June 14. The parade will now start at Florence Mall instead of Tri-County Mall, avoiding possible troubles with downtown traffic.

        The parade will probably start in late morning, with about 20-30 rigs going from Florence to the Sparta, Ky. track.

        PIT TALK: There's already a two-hour motor sports show in the area, the weekly Pit Talk motor sports show on WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton.

        The show, hosted by Dave Renner, runs every Thursday from 7-9 p.m. Its signal does not reach as many listeners as WLW, but Renner knows his stuff. He is a racer of some note, and will attempt to qualify for the inaugural ARCA stock car race at Kentucky Speedway on July 2.

        Tom Groeschen welcomes your email at tgroeschen@enquirer.com

       



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