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Kentucky Speedway's Jerry Carroll abandons legal battle with NASCAR, opening door to a 2011 Sprint Cup race

  Bruton Smith was all smiles when he bought Kentucky Speedway in the spring of 2008...now he's got to make a move to open up a Cup weekend for that track (Photo: HH/Lowes Motor Speedway)

   By Mike Mulhern

   If only Jerry Carroll and his men had conceded sooner....
   But Friday the man who helped build Kentucky Speedway, then sold it to Bruton Smith, finally called it quits in his legal fight against NASCAR, days after yet another legal defeat.
   Carroll, who had sued NASCAR over its not granting the Cincinnati area track a Sprint Cup date, and who kept fighting on, despite several earlier legal defeats, says the case of "Kentucky Speedway, LLC v. NASCAR, et al." is now history.
   "On behalf of the original partners of Kentucky Speedway, I have informed our attorneys we will not pursue any remaining appeals," Carroll said. "While we still believe in the merits of the case, it is time to accept the decision of the courts and move on."
   However Carroll's move comes too late to get on the NASCAR Cup tour schedule any time soon. NASCAR officials have said they wouldn't consider any such move as long as the case was in the courts. And the 2010 NASCAR Cup tour schedule was set months ago...without a date for Kentucky Speedway.
   And just where might there even be a spot on the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup calendar for Kentucky? Smith has said he would move one of his other Cup dates to that track, but he's been careful not to say which one. Atlanta Motor Speedway, though it did have an excellent Labor Day crowd for its new spot in the tour lineup, has been considered one of the weak links in Smith's roster.

   The next move is up to these guys, Marcus (L) and Bruton Smith. (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


Can the sport avoid complete nepotism? How are races "awarded" to tracks? Is it based on who the owner is or actual market analysis? What has really changed at Kentucky speedway other than ownership?

Guys, I really don't think this looks good for the sport but, then again, a lawsuit was involved. Why didn't they give the track a race in the past, Bruton didn't own it is what is looks like to us "uneducated" baccer smokers, dippers, chewers.

Perhaps, in Solomon like wisdom, FranceCar will let the "other" track owner decide which one of his other children he really wants to cut in half and sacrifice. Thanks for listening, I going back to smoking my pipe on this one.....maybe I'm wrong on this but folks, chime in on your thoughts - I still miss The Rock and Wilkesboro but they didn't bring in the money, I guess we'll see which one is next in 2011....

Kentucky Hadn't Earned Anything

They didn't give the track a date before because it hadn't earned one. It ran BGN and Trucks but struggled to host these events - parking for 60,000 fans proved consistently troublesome. Plus NASCAR was upset because it's within the demographic of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and they don't want to split attendances in that area. Finally, Carroll acted as though Kentucky was supposed to get a date by virtue of its existence, and he saw how Bruton extorted a second date for Texas by using a proxy to file a lawsuit.

"I still miss Rockingham and North Wilkesboro..." Why? Those were uncompetitive tracks with lousy surfaces.


Don't care if KY gets a race or not - point being that it IS being considered now. Why? Frankly, I'm tired of same ole mile and half tracks with most of the seats empty but I guess their competitive.

As for Rockingham and Wilkesboro, at least you could see the entire race and they didn't run in single file. As for the track surface, folks who have actually driven at the Rock seem to enjoy driving there even if the hard ass concrete seating for the fans is, well, hard. I miss a lot of stuff, old crappy tracks, RJR, Fan Fest, Fireball, Tiny, moonshine and the days before sponsorship, TV talking heads and the internet. Preciate the comments though. Rock on! (Pun intended.)

Kentucky is long overdue for

Kentucky is long overdue for a race. IF NASCAR does not grant it, hopefully Bruton will pull all of his tracks from the schedule and start his own series. Gateway and Nashville should get races soon, also. With the right ownership, Memphis would be a good place to go as well. Pocono, New Hampshire, California, Texas, and Michigan are tracks that should only have one race. Send one of their races to a new destination that is currently without a Cup race.

You're Wrong, fireball.

Gateway has not proven it can handle NASCAR's smaller series, and Nashville is a dismal track - it needs to be blown up and rebuilt into a 2.6-mile superoval with asphalt, not concrete - concrete is useless as a racing surface.

Memphis had a track and it failed.

Pocono earned two dates and is a superior racing demographic to Kentucky. The same is true of New Hampshire. Michigan earned two dates from the beginning. Kentucky has not proven it has earned even one Winston Cup date.

Yeah, right

Pocono has not been paved since the 70's. Once a year is plenty. New Hampshire and Michigan races are almost as exciting as watching seed germinate.

The other tracks have never had a Cup date. Who wants to go watch Cup Light races at those venues, or any venue? Kentuckians keep getting sellouts to their Cup Light races, though I don't know why. They have to be dedicated to pay good money to watch Cup drivers not driving Cup cars. How many people do you think would show up at stand-alone Cup Light races at Pocono, New Hampshire, and Michigan? Not too many. That's the situation Gateway, Nashville, and Memphis all face. Give them a Cup date and the crowds will show up. They can't get a worse turnout than California and Atlanta did last year.

Rotate the schedule

Hey, may hurt some track owners but help others, but wouldn't rotating races to different tracks be a proof of concept to see if there is fan support at these new locations? Yes, tracks age at different rates due to weather, etc., but I would like to see other tracks get races and it might shuffle up things to race where no one has any notes! KY and the TN tracks all look like they would provide good racing.

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