While traffic jams and three-hour waits in gridlock are nothing new to American race fans – just ask anyone lined up outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 6 a.m. on raceday morning – the traffic getting into Kentucky Speedway for Saturday evening's inaugural Sprint Cup race at the track was something special.
Some estimates put the number of fans stranded outside the track attempting to get into the parking lots and therefore missing part or all of the Quaker State 400 at 20,000. It's a debacle that hasn't gone unnoticed, and all parties have promised to do something about it.
"While NASCAR was thrilled by the incredible response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Kentucky, we also are extremely disappointed by the traffic problems and inconveniences endured by fans who wanted to be part of our races at Kentucky Speedway,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “NASCAR will be in close communications with Kentucky Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc., to see that they work to resolve the issues. This situation cannot happen again."
Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger says that the track is looking at the problem and plans to announce a policy for those left outside the gates within a week.
"Kentucky Speedway regrets the traffic conditions surrounding the ‘Quaker State 400.' We're committed to working with NASCAR, state and local officials and traffic experts to assure that this never happens again. The details of these improvements will be announced over time as they are formulated,” he said.