This weekend sees the introduction of the first new Sprint Cup track since Kansas and Chicago joined the schedule in 2001. But Kentucky Speedway isn't a new track, or even new to NASCAR. Here are a few questions, and of course answers, about NASCAR's newest track:
What are the track's specs?
It's a 1.5-mile tri-oval. I know, revolutionary, right? Carl Edwards holds the NASCAR qualifying speed record at 181.287 mph. The track has also hosted most other major forms of racing; Sarah Fisher (a girl!) of IndyCar holds the overall record at 221.390 mph.
How long has Kentucky been around?
The state? Quite awhile. But construction on the speedway began in 1999 and was completed in 2000. The first major event was a Craftsman Truck Series race, won by none other than Greg Biffle. The next year, the track hosted its first Busch (now Nationwide) event, won by another competitor this weekend, Kevin Harvick.
So why hasn't it hosted a Cup race until now?
Lawsuits, baby. In the mid-2000s, the former owners of the facility filed an antitrust suit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation, alleging that the companies illegally restricted the awarding of Cup races to worthy tracks. (Specifically, theirs.) The suit was dismissed, but several owners of the track continued to appeal and keep the suit alive. In 2008, Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. bought the track, the lawsuits were eventually settled, and here we are.
How many people can the track hold?
When SMI prepped the track for a move to the big leagues, it increased seating from 66,000 to 107,000. The track recently announced that all grandstand seating was sold out for this race, a good start to the track's Sprint Cup run.
What's its connection to one of the most famous cheesy shows of the 1990s?
What a bizarrely narrow-focus question. In 2002, Jason Priestley, star of "Beverly Hills 90210," was severely injured during an IndyCar practice run. He required intensive rehab on his injured spine, and has since stopped racing. His acting career remains at large.
So who's going to win?
With zero history at the track itself, we have to go off similar 1.5-mile tracks, and this year Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch have been strong. Both Edwards and Kyle Busch have Nationwide wins at the facility. The most dominant recent driver? Joey Logano, who's won the last three Nationwide races from the pole.
There you have it, all the info you need for this Saturday's race. Excited? Thrilled? Mildly intrigued? Let us know in the comments.