With giving myself the proper time to cool my jets (along with the rest of NASCAR Nation) I am going to give Kentucky their report card. The Quaker State 400 being the inaugural race at Kentucky looked to be promising and a good time for all the fans. Was it? I think that we all know the answer to that question!
But the real question is, Does Kentucky deserve a second chance or should they just drop out now? I will let you make that decision!
Traffic: First off, I have been to numerous NASCAR races and have dealt with traffic BUT nothing and no race had traffic like Kentucky did folks. From being on Twitter all evening during the race and listening in to what some of my followers were saying it was absolutely horrendous! Some folks sat in traffic for nearly 6+ hours and still missed the beginning of the race and that is completely unacceptable! Matt Kacar, one of my Twitter followers who was at this race, told me it took an hour and a half to just get out of his parking spot and then didn’t get home until 4am Sunday morning!!
Race: One word came sum the race up “Snoozefest”. And in the NASCAR world, this is uncalled for! some of the more “exciting” parts of the race came at the restarts when everyone was bunched up together, too bad there weren’t many of these situations. When the leader (aka Kyle Busch) was out front leading, he would quickly build up a lead of about six seconds with just under a few laps under his belt. There was one instance where only 10 cars were on the lead lap at the very end of the race. One follower of mine on Twitter sticks out the most, Andrew Morris, and he simply said : ” Shitty track, broadcast, and state to have a race at….” and “No doubt, glad I am not there…..”. Andrew is a NASCAR fan at heart and he and I have met and the man loves racing so this is serious folks. Even Jenna Fryer, a NASCAR and ESPN reporter stated on Twitter: “A whopping 7 cars on the lead lap. I warned y’all the Trucks were going to be a better show”.
Venue: Kentucky Speedway is a breathtaking, beautiful track (from what we could see on television). When I heard Bruton Smith had spent nearly 100 million dollars renovating the track, I knew we were in for something special. I really believe SMI feels that Kentucky could be the most popular track out of the ones that they operate. Having said that, the beautiful track alone will not win fans back to come to future races, it has to be a complete package.
Logistics: Logistics was more than just David Ragan’s sponsor this weekend! I heard that word thrown around more this past weekend than I had ever heard it used in a NASCAR weekend in my 23 years of life! With not only traffic disturbing fans, the lack of public restrooms also agitated some of NASCAR’s finest. Again, receiving my information from twitter, I learned that some public restrooms has a line of several hundred, just trying to get in. This just establishes my point, Kentucky Speedway knew they had sold out of tickets for this event, so why didn’t they take the proper precautions to make sure every fan left with a “pleasurable experience”?
Overall: Failure! I and many more were not impressed by this past weekend’s events. The most haunting this about this is the turning away of over 20,000 fans who PAID to see this event take place and were simply told to go home. NASCAR has always been a sport about the fans and this past weekend was the biggest slap in all the fans faces! When you have race fans still showing up for a race with just under 50 laps to go, there is a problem. I never thought I would see the day when “traffic” would be the deciding factor on if NASCAR fans would come back to Kentucky next year or not.
The real kick in the face to fans is that Kentucky sued to get this cup date and said that they were ready for it, obviously that was not the case. ESPN conducted a poll late Sunday asking fans if they would come back to Kentucky next year, 67% said they would not return. It will just be interesting to see what changes that area makes for future races, they have to do something to get this “sour” taste of NASCAR fans mouth! The picture below says Kentucky Speedway Welcomes… But did it?