Monday, July 03, 2000

Sun, gravel ease path to Speedway

By Jeff Carlton and Mara H. Gottfried
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPARTA, Ky. — Traffic and 27,312 paying fans flowed easily Sunday into and out of the Kentucky Speedway for the ARCA Kentucky 150 stock car race.

        The event went off smoothly with the memory of a muddy disaster that kept thousands out of the facility's inaugural event just two weeks old.

        “We got here at 4 p.m last time and man, we were backed up big time,” said Jerry Corbett of Dayton. Sunday, however, Mr. Corbett was comfortably inside the track by mid-afternoon, tailgating as race time approached.

        Mr. Corbett waited 21/2 hours to get into the speedway on June 17 for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, and he was one of the lucky ones.

        Thousands of people were turned away as parking spots disappeared into muddy quagmires created by two days of heavy rains. Traffic stretched 12 miles on Interstate 71.

        But over the past week, track officials dumped more than 50,000 tons of gravel and crushed rock over parking areas. Crews also created new access roads.

        Fans told of little to no delay in driving into the facility, and cars appeared to leave with little trouble.


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