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Published on July 11th, 2011 | by Shannon Baxter


Quaker State 400 Review: Disappointing

I normally would never say that a race was boring.  I can almost always find something exciting about a race.  When it comes to the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, I can’t say the same.  In the end, the entire race was just boring.

What stood out most from the race weekend was the overwhelming amount of traffic.  Kentucky was excited about having a sold out crowd at their first Sprint Cup race.  Unfortunately, an estimated 5,000 fans didn’t even make it to into the track.

By late Saturday morning Interstate 71 was backed up for nearly 20 miles.  Eventually the speedway ran out of places to park cars and began turning fans away.  It got so bad that state police closed off the I-71 exit to the track.

“I think the basic issue was that cars just kept coming,” track general manager Mark Simendinger said.  “We parked a ton of cars. And they kept coming.  We parked cars in every square inch of this place.  The neighbors parked cars in all the remote lots that we had estimated that would have been more than sufficient for this crowd size, and yet they still kept coming.  That was the issue.  We’ll look at all the data, and we’ll figure it out.”

Being a race fan myself, this is very sad and frustrating to hear.  I can’t even imagine having to wait in five hours of traffic.  Much less getting turned away once I finally got to the track. Kentucky Speedway owes these fans big time.  It takes a lot of money to attend a NASCAR race.  Food, hotel fees, gas money, the expense of taking off from work, the price of tickets, etc.

Even if KS reimburses the fans for their tickets, that still isn’t enough, in my opinion.  These fans were excited to be apart of the first Cup race at Kentucky and that excitement was taken away from them from lack of planning.  The least that KS could do is apologize.

For the fans that didn’t get to watch the race, you didn’t miss much.  Kyle Busch had the pole and led for the first half of the race.  On lap 147, Brad Keselowski used pit strategy to get the lead from Busch.  It seemed as though Keselowski was going to steal the win.  However, a quick pit stop at the end of the race put Busch ahead of Keselowski and secured the inaugural win for him.

Busch has now taken the points lead from Carl Edwards by four points.

Dale Earnhardt Jr dropped to eighth in points after struggling all race long with handling issues and a late race blown tire.

In conclusion, I will be shocked if NASCAR decides to go to KS next year.  Kentucky has got to step up their game and do a lot of apologizing to get race fans back on their side.

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