Sixteen ARCA RE/MAX Series teams, including those of top title contenders Frank Kimmel and Shelby Howard, put their racing machines through their paces on the Kentucky Speedway tri-oval and gave regional media a preview of the track's May 10 "Channel 5-205" today.

"We race at a lot of superspeedways and in most cases our event is a day prior to a NASCAR Winston Cup race or Indy Racing League race," ARCA President Ron Drager said. "At Kentucky Speedway we are 'stand alone,' meaning that we can bring the series into this market and the fans think enough of it to come out and support it as a feature event. It's important to us."

"The Channel 5-205" will mark the seventh series event at Kentucky Speedway, the most of any race series. The series also has added 50 miles to the length of the event to make it the longest series race in Kentucky Speedway history.

Kimmel, a four-time series champion, three-time Kentucky Speedway race winner and current series points standings leader, said he is focused on a fourth Kentucky win and that the extra distance may give him an advantage in his title defense.

"I think the added laps are better for me and for my team as far as hedging on the race and pit strategy," Kimmel said. "We expect to do well when we come here, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves."

He added that consistent track conditions at Kentucky Speedway help create competitive series events.

"They've done everything they can here to make this a passable racetrack, you can get up on the outside," Kimmel said. "Most of the time, we like to be right on the bottom because our races aren't long enough for long runs with outside traffic. But, if you get stuck out there, you're not going to wreck. It's a great racetrack and a great place to race with big, wide turns and a lot of room."

Other drivers participating in the test were Walton, Ky. native Willie Green, Middletown, Ohio resident Brett Oakley, series veterans Vern Slagh and Bill Eversole, as well as Deborah Renshaw and Kim Crosby.

Race sponsor WLWT-TV 5 (NBC) of Cincinnati, which will televise the event live to the local market for the second consecutive year, announced that race legend Benny Parsons will provide color commentary for the broadcast alongside Channel 5 Sports Director Ken Broo.

Kentucky Speedway opens May 9-10 with "The Channel 5-205" and NASCAR Winston Cup Series autograph session with Ricky Craven, Larry Foyt, Sterling Marlin, Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray and Jimmy Spencer. Racing continues June 13-14 when the NASCAR Busch Series convenes to contest "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" and the NASCAR Kodak Southeast Elite Series runs "The Kentucky 150." The July 11-12 weekend features the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" and the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series "Kentucky 150." The Indy Racing League IndyCar Series will provide the season finale August 16-17 with "The Belterra Casino Indy 300" and Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series "Kentucky 100."

Both season and single-event tickets for 2003 Kentucky Speedway race events are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets in the following ways:

  • By phone at 1-888-652-RACE (single-event ) or 859-578-2300 (season)
  • Online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com or www.Tickets.com
  • 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 select Meijer stores and supercenters, Play-It-Again Sports and Hader Hardware locations.
Tickets.com facilitates Kentucky Speedway single-event ticket and Reserved RV camping pass sales to local clients and race fans. A complete list of retail locations is available online at www.Tickets.com, or www.kentuckyspeedway.com and by phone at 1-888-652-RACE. Tickets.com service fees will apply to all outlet, phone and Internet orders.