Kentucky track and state officials are hoping that all these folks have an easier time getting to the race this …
Quick, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of last year's race at Kentucky?
Unless you're a Kyle Busch fan, it's probably not about the race winner. Or David Reutimann, who went from Lucky Dog to a second place finish in the final 58 laps.
It was the traffic getting to the race.
Kentucky Speedway said it sold 107,000 tickets for its inaugural event. However, many of those that had tickets didn't even get to the track. And those that did get to the track spent hours upon hours in that traffic and/or ended up parking a long way away from the track. (The track offered a ticket exchange program for those that didn't make it.)
Last week, the Kentucky State Police unveiled a new plan to help avoid last year's issues, and Kentucky State Police Captain Dean Hayes said he guaranteed that traffic would be better. (However, could it really have been much worse?)
Over $13.5 million has been spent to upgrade the infrastructure around the facility to get people in and out as quickly as possible.
The speedway's share was $10 million to add 20,000 new parking spaces across Kentucky Route 35 from the track. That brings the total number of available spaces to 35,800.
Kentucky invested $3.5 million by adding a lane to the exit ramp from Southbound I-71 to Route 35, widening Route 35 to seven lanes and building a pedestrian tunnel under Route 35 connecting the new parking areas to the track.
A smaller crowd than last year may help as well. The track said that while 8,000 people have taken advantage of the ticket exchange, it had sold less than 100,000 tickets for Saturday night's race.
And while getting to the race may be easier, there may be some unhappy folks after the race. All parking lots will be held for 30 minutes so that pedestrians can get to their cars and the infield parking lots will be held for 90 minutes.
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