Wednesday, October 1, 2003

11 races slated for 2004 at track


ASA stock cars added to lineup, but not Nextel

By Terry Flynn
Enquirer contributor

SPARTA, Ky. - Kentucky Speedway announced a larger and longer schedule for 2004 that boasts 11 races over five weekends, including two stock-car events sanctioned by the American Speed Association and a new September weekend that will feature three races on the same Saturday.

The 1.5-mile tri-oval speedway will not be the sight of a Nextel Cup (formerly Winston Cup) race, NASCAR's major racing series and the jewel in the Speedway's crown that so far has been unattainable.

"It's still in our sights," Kentucky Speedway vice president and general manager Mark Cassis said Tuesday during a press conference. "We have to believe it will happen here. The strength of our corporate sponsorship as we go into our fifth season should send a message to NASCAR. (Track owner) Jerry Carroll and the ownership group continue to push forward to obtain a Cup race. I also think the track speaks for itself."

With the addition of the ASA stock cars to the lineup, Kentucky Speedway will have a racing weekend every month May through September.

"We've never had all the races sponsored this far ahead," Cassis said. "We keep hitting home runs with sponsorship, and this is with major corporate sponsors. I hope NASCAR is watching."

Cassis also announced that the track is lowering the ticket prices for qualifying/pole night events, with a general admission price of $20. Season-ticket holders will pay just $10 for the qualifying events, and children under 12 are free.

"We want to make the pole night events more accessible and hopefully attract more families," Cassis said.

The 2004 racing season at Kentucky Speedway opens May 7-8 with the ARCA RE/MAX Series Channel-5 205 race Saturday and a 125-lap ASA race Friday, along with ARCA qualifying.

The NASCAR Busch Series, that sanctioning body's top minor-league stock car series, returns for the Meijer 300 race June 19. Qualifying for the Busch race is June 18, followed by a NASCAR Kodak Southeast Elite Series stock car race.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will bring the racing pickup truck back to Kentucky Speedway for The Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers July 10. Truck qualifying and the ARCA Kentucky 150 will be Friday, July 9.

The Belterra Casino Indy 300 race featuring Indy Racing League cars at well over 200 mph will be run at the speedway on Sunday, Aug. 15, preceded by qualifying and the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series Kentucky 100 race Saturday, Aug. 14.

The season concludes Sept. 18 with the V-TAPS Triple Header Fall Classic, three separate races totaling 475 miles. The Dash Series stock cars, formerly run by NASCAR, will race 100 miles, followed by a 150-mile NKSES race and a 225-mile ASA race.

All races at Kentucky Speedway will be carried on television either by SpeedChannel, ESPN, FX or WLWT, Channel 5.

For schedules and ticket information go to www.kentuckyspeedway.com or call the speedway office at (859) 578-2300 for season tickets and (888) 652-RACE after Jan. 5 for single-event tickets.

Kentucky Speedway 2004 highlights

• May 7-8: Channel 5-205, ARCA RE/MAX Series

• June 18-19: Meijer 300, NASCAR Busch Series

• July  9-10: The Built Ford Tough 225, Craftsman Trucks

• Aug. 14-15: Belterra Casino Indy 300, Indy Racing League

• Sept. 18: Vocational Training & Placement Services Triple Header Fall Classic




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