Kentucky Speedway Schedule Expands To 11 Races, Five Event Weekends In 2004
Kentucky Speedway will expand its schedule to include 11 races and five event weekends in 2004. Expansions will bring one new race series to the facility's 1.5-mile tri-oval and include the first September event weekend. Nine of the 11 scheduled races will run at night and eight will be broadcast nationally over a combined four television networks.
Feature race events include the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5-205" in May, the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300" in June, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" in July and the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series "Belterra Casino Indy 300" in August. The new September "Vocational Training & Placement Services (V-TAPS) Triple Header - Fall Classic" weekend will mark the debut of the American Speed Association (ASA) at the speedway along with the return of the NASCAR Kodak Southeast Elite Series and restructured Dash Series.
"Our overall theme for the season is 'More in '04!'. With more races, more entertainment and more excitement, we guarantee we will not disappoint the great sponsors and fans of Kentucky Speedway," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "All five of our main events are already sponsored which highlights the strong support this venue receives from our corporate markets. Concerts, including the return of Country Stampede in June, car shows and driving schools will all play an important role in our 'More in '04!' theme."
Racing begins May 7-8 with the return of the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5-205" and the first-ever ASA appearance for a 125-lap, 188-mile event. Title sponsor Channel 5 (WLWT-TV, NBC) will broadcast its event live to the Greater Cincinnati market for the third consecutive year and SPEED Channel will telecast the race to a national cable audience. Last season, young gun Kyle Busch outdueled Frank Kimmel to take the title. ASA opens a new chapter of Kentucky Speedway race history on May 7 on SPEED Channel.
The 2004 edition of the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300" will take to the track on June 19. Team Marines driver Bobby Hamilton, Jr., won a closing-laps battle with Jason Keller in 2003 to capture the third Kentucky Speedway series title in front of 69,000 fans. The event is expected to play to a fourth consecutive sellout crowd and will be broadcast live on the FX Network. The weekend begins on June 18 with the first of two scheduled 150-mile NASCAR Kodak Southeast Elite Series races. Last season, series driver Scott Carlson won the first caution-free race in Kentucky Speedway history.
"The Built Ford Tough 225, presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" moves up one week on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule and will take the green flag at Kentucky Speedway on July 10. Rookie-of -the-Year Carl Edwards took his first career series win at Kentucky last season and promptly celebrated with his signature backflip off of the rear of his truck. The ARCA RE/MAX Series leads off the weekend with a 150-mile race on July 9. Both July events will be carried live on SPEED Channel.
The speedway shifts its focus to open-wheel racing for its August weekend when the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series arrives for the fifth "Belterra Casino Indy 300" on August 15. The race will start at 4:00 p.m. for the first time and ABC will provide live national coverage. Last season, two-time IndyCar Champion Sam Hornish, Jr. averaged a speed of 197.897 mph while scorching the field in the second-fastest race in series history. The weekend begins with the third running of Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series "Kentucky 100" on August 14. Race engines will pierce the fall air for the first time at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 18 during the inaugural "Vocational Training & Placement Services (V-TAPS) Triple Header - Fall Classic." The new Dash Series, the NASCAR Kodak Southeast Elite Series and ASA will race a combined 475 miles in one evening. SPEED Channel will showcase 225-mile ASA race in primetime.
"The Country Stampede" music festival also expands in 2004 by adding a fourth day of music. The all-star musical event will take to the stage June 3-6. In 2003, 30 national acts including Diamond Rio, Lonestar, Brad Paisley and Travis Tritt performed before a combined three-day crowd of 90,000.
Kentucky Speedway season tickets will be on sale beginning Oct. 1 and single event ticket sales begin Jan. 5, 2004. Fans can purchase tickets in the following ways:
- By phone at 859-578-2300 (season) and 1-888-652-RACE (single-event).
- At the Kentucky Speedway corporate office at 2216 Dixie Hwy. Suite 200, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky. Or the speedway's Fan Center, off of Hwy 35 in Sparta, KY.
- Through Tickets.com retail outlets located at the Cincinnati Visitor's Center and in Play-It-Again Sports and Hader hardware locations.