Kentucky Speedway's opening weekend corporate partner, Cincinnati's WLWT Channel 5, has caught the racing bug.

In addition to sponsoring, airing a pre-race special and carrying the May 11 ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5-155" race live in the Greater Cincinnati market, the NBC affiliate announced plans to field a car in the event in conjunction with Rite Track Racing of nearby West Chester, Ohio.

Veteran Jeep Pflum of Cincinnati will pilot the No. 5 Channel 5 Monte Carlo. Pflum entered both ARCA RE/Max Series events last year at Kentucky. He improved 11 positions during "The Kentucky 150" in May and finished 19th. Pflum fared better in July's "Blue Grass Quality Meats 200" where he posted an eighth place finish. The May race was RTR's debut race in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. "The car and crew are ready to put on a good show in the Channel 5-155," Pflum said. "The Channel 5 155 field looks strong and we are confident the things we did in the off season will help us improve on our top 10 finish at Kentucky from last year."

As part of the partnership, RTR and Channel 5 will host five promotional events in April. Kentucky Speedway, along with its Infinity Broadcasting country radio sister station, B-105 WUBE-FM, also will participate in the promotional events. The first event will take place Monday, April 1, when the RTR No. 5 Channel 5 Monte Carlo appears in the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade. Kentucky Speedway mascot "Horsepower" will accompany the machine.

"We are extremely happy to be partnered with WLWT Channel 5 to help promote the Channel 5 155," said RTR Owner Tim Hayden. "Who better than the local team to best represent Channel 5 at one of the finest facilities in the country." RTR also will enter a second machine in the race with series rookie Mike Burg behind the wheel.

"The Channel 5 race car and event sponsorship are both a strong testament to how the Tri State has embraced motorsports, Kentucky Speedway and the ARCA RE/MAX Series," said Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President & General Manager Mark F. Cassis. "The No. 5 sponsored by WLWT Channel 5 will certainly add to the local flavor of the event and shows Channel 5's commitment to making the race a success and fun for the viewers."

Kentucky Speedway officially opens its 2002 season on Friday, May10, at 8:00 p.m., with the "ABP Short Track Special," which will feature USAC National Midget Car Series, ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series and Baby Grand Series racing on the speedway's paved quarter-mile track.

Tickets for all 2002 events at Kentucky Speedway are on sale now and can be purchased in five easy ways:

  • By phone at 1-888-652-RACE
  • On the World Wide Web at www.kentuckyspeedway.com
  • In person at either the speedway's Ft. Mitchell ticket office or at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center off Ky. Hwy. 35 in Sparta, Ky.
  • At Tickets.com and all Tickets.com retail outlets located in Greater Cincinnati area Meijer Hader Hardware and Play-It-Again Sports stores.
  • In person at all Greater Cincinnati AAA locations.