Compton Gearing Up For "The Meijer 300 Presented By Oreo"
Defending NASCAR Busch Series track record holding pole winner Stacy Compton joined Regan Smith, Stanton Barrett and Shawna Robinson at Kentucky Speedway today to speak with area media about the June 19 "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo."
Compton started on the inside of the front row last season after turning his record-setting qualifying lap at 176.384 mph. Compton finished fourth in the race and had one of the best seats in the house for Bobby Hamilton, Jr.'s race winning, last-lap pass of series veteran Jason Keller. Hamilton, Jr., and his No. 25 Team Marines Ford won by .488 of a second in the 10th-closest race in Kentucky Speedway history.
Compton expects to be back in the mix for the 2004 title when the series returns to the track in 18 days.
"It felt like we had a shot to win this thing last year, but Bobby was strong all day and so was Jason. It was a good race all day. We battled from start to finish, first to 20th all day," Compton said. "When Bobby made the move, we knew he had the car that was capable of doing it. We knew he had the car to beat and I'm sure when he comes back here he'll be just as tough. That car is really dialed in on the 1.5-mile tracks."
He added that Kentucky Speedway's $1.29-million dollar purse, $86,765 winning payout and the atmosphere created by more than capacity crowds create added incentive for drivers to perform well at Kentucky Speedway.
"This is one of the places we wouldn't mind coming to two, three, five times a year," he said. "The Kingsford Bush Bean's car has always run good here, last year as a Chevrolet and hopefully this year as a Ford. This is a great stand-alone event. You look at the stands and they're packed and sold out every time we come here. It makes it interesting and a lot of fun. Right now, this is probably the best racetrack out there, the most competitive racetrack. We like stand alone events as Busch drivers because we feel the sport is stronger right now than it's ever been. We like the Cup events with us at times because it helps us draw more fans, but this event deserves to be a stand-alone."
Compton enters this week 16th in series standings and authored his best finish of the season at California Speedway on May 1. He continues to improve his race packages as his team completes the transition from Chevrolet to Ford.
"Everywhere we go is an aerodynamic track," Compton said. "The team has had notes from Chevrolet for the past eight years. It's been a little bit of a struggle. Everything that we've done in the past is thrown out the window. We've had to figure out the down force and balance and it's taken a little while. Ford has been great, we've been to the wind tunnel basically every week since Daytona and that's unheard of. Last week was the best racecar we've had and we're bringing that one here. We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's going to take a little time."
Regardless of how his team adjusts in the upcoming weeks, Compton looks forward to a competitive "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo."
"Right now, the Busch Series is the strongest it's ever been. It's where the Cup series was five years ago," Compton said. "We're sending eight, 10, 12 cars home every week. I think that's hats off to NASCAR for what they're doing right now in making the series more competitive."
"The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" event includes a pre-race concert with country star Tracy Byrd and pre-race festivities featuring a military jet flyover, event Grand Marshal and Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis and more. The NASCAR Busch Series weekend begins on June 18 with Insight Communications Pole Night featuring the "Kentucky 150" NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast Series race and NASCAR Busch Series qualifying and "Happy Hour" final practice.
|Tickets for "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" still remain, but are going fast and can be purchased in the following 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 Greater Cincinnati Tickets.com retail outlets including all Meijer stores.|
~ Kentucky Speedway ~