Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Fix for raceway on fast track


But refunds take 3-4 weeks

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPARTA — Cleanup crews were out in full force Monday at the Kentucky Speedway to pick up after the 63,750 auto racing fans who descended on this small town for the track's inaugural event.

        Track officials have not yet developed a plan that will prevent the type of traffic, parking and other problems that happened at the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series over the weekend. But they have announced a refund procedure for those fans who didn't get in to see the race.

        Kentucky State Police and track officials closed the Interstate 71 exits leading to the speedway Saturday night after heavy rains made several parking lots so muddy they couldn't be used. Many ticket holders were upset that they were turned away.

        Those wanting refunds should mail the purchased, untorn, intact tickets to P.O. Box 176248, Covington, KY 41017-6248. All refunds will be issued to the purchaser of record.

        Speedway officials say to allow three to four weeks for processing. Ticket holders should not go to the track, officials said.

        The track called in and paid for a number of tow trucks to help fans get out of the muddy parking lots. No arrangement has yet been made for individuals who might have paid directly to be towed.

        Jerry Carroll, co-owner of the speedway, said Sunday he plans to make things right.

        “We are working on a solution,” he said.

        Mr. Carroll, speedway engineers, representatives of the Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Highway Department are expected to meet today in Fort Mitchell to review the traffic plan that was used over the weekend.

        State Trooper John Bradley said 55 officers were used for the event. No accidents were reported.

        “The plan worked pretty well Friday night. But the rain came, and we had no other places to put the cars on Saturday,” he said. “Friday night we didn't have to break from the plan at all.”

        On Saturday, police directed cars to park in auxiliary lots and diverted some traffic down Ky. 1130.

        But by 7:30 p.m., there was gridlock on Interstate 71 — a backup that was reported to be at least 15 miles — and officials had no choice but to close both the northbound and southbound exits to Ky. 35.

        “There are no immediate plans to make drastic changes to the traffic plan,” Trooper Bradley said.

       



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