As the final few Kentucky race fans are finally making it to the track*, Kentucky Speedway has apologized for the apocalyptic, end-of-the-world traffic that caused as many as 20,000 fans to miss Saturday night's race.
"To those fans that were not able to attend the Quaker State 400, we offer our sincerest apologies," said Mark Simendinger, general manager, Kentucky Speedway. "We'd also like to apologize to all of our fans who endured challenging conditions during our event weekend. As we said earlier, we're committed to working with NASCAR, state and local officials and traffic experts to address Saturday's traffic issues to ensure that we never have this type of experience again."
The speedway received some pretty harsh criticism for acknowledging the problems but not apologizing for them in its initial statement, so this is obviously an attempt to come to fans, trucker hat in hand, seeking forgiveness.
But you know what also helps? Cold, hard cash, or the equivalent. So Speedway Motorsports is offering exchange tickets to any of the following races:
July 17 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Aug. 27 - Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 4 - Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 25 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Oct. 15 - Charlotte Motor Speedway
Nov. 6 - Texas Motor Speedway
2012 - Kentucky Speedway
In addition, the fans will get a ticket to either the Truck or IndyCar races in early October. For information on ticket exchange and redemption, fans should contact the Kentucky Speedway ticket office at 859-578-2300 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, that's how you handle a crisis. Shame it needed to come to that, of course; and realistically speaking, a full apology and mitigation plan inside of 48 hours isn't that long. So, nice job to Kentucky for handling this crisis. The trick now is preventing the next one.
*-May be a slight exaggeration.