A solid majority of more than 944 Greater Cincinnati area sports fans participating in the Kentucky Speedway section of The Cincinnati Enquirer "State of Local Sports Poll" expressed confidence in speedway management and indicated they are satisfied with the facility and its event offering.

The poll was posted on The Cincinnati Enquirer Web site, www.enquirer.com, through a two-week period that concluded Sunday, Jan. 20. Poll questions solicited readers' opinions of major professional franchises, venues and collegiate programs such as the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball franchise, Cincinnati Bengals National Football League franchise, Kentucky Speedway, the University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky and Miami University football and men's basketball programs along with the Xavier University men's basketball program.

Readers were able to rank each of the 12 entities on the ability to produce a consistent product and had the option to respond to entity-specific surveys where they ranked elements such as management confidence, schedule and general future optimism regarding the entity.

A total of 944 readers chose to complete the 11-question Kentucky Speedway-specific survey which ranked responses on a 1-to-10 scale with 10 representing the highest ranking.

Sixty-seven percent of speedway survey respondents ranked their overall satisfaction of the facility at 7 or greater. Thirty-six percent of those voters ranked their satisfaction at 10. Sixty-three percent speedway survey takers indicated the facility was "better off than it was two to three years ago." Forty percent of those voters indicated the speedway is "a lot better off."

Nearly 64 percent of speedway survey respondents ranked their overall "optimism of the speedway's prospects in five years" in the 7 to 10 range with 38 percent of that total resting in the 10 ranking. Sixty-nine percent of speedway poll respondents rated their "overall faith in Kentucky Speedway Chairman Jerry Carroll and Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis" between 7 and 10 with 42 percent of that group ranking their confidence at 10.

"The 'State of Local Sports Poll' reaffirms what we already knew - our venue receives the support of the most loyal fans in motorsports. It's always great to view a snapshot of the prevailing attitudes toward your operation and we certainly appreciate the time the Tri-State fans took to provide their feedback. We view the results as a vote of confidence moving forward," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said.

Ten thousand eight hundred forty-six readers cast 535,530 overall votes to rank product consistency among the sports entities highlighted by the survey. Kentucky Speedway ranked second among professional sports entities and eighth overall after receiving 38,955 votes for producing the most consistent product. The showing was one spot behind the Cincinnati Reds' 39,069 votes and three spots ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals' 34,371 votes. Ohio State University football received the most votes for consistent product with 72,845, Xavier University men's basketball was second with 65,087 tallies and University of Cincinnati football was third with 57,982 nods. Five hundred seventy-seven readers completed the Ohio State University football section of the survey. The six-weekend Kentucky Speedway season will open May 10 with the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Drive Smart Buckle-Up Kentucky 150." The 150-mile street stock "Frank Kimmel Enduro Nationals II Presented by Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati and the Thoroughbred Harley-Davidson Shop of Florence Kentucky" will be held May 24 and will be followed by a June 14 visit from the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo." The July race weekend will feature the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Kentucky 150" July 18 and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" July 19. The IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series will practice at the track Aug. 8 before respectively competing in the "Meijer Indy 300" and Indy Pro Series "Kentucky 100" under the lights on Aug. 9. The season will come to a thunderous close Sept. 20 when the Major League of Monster Trucks races its high-horsepower machines side-by-side through an obstacle-filled, custom-designed dirt track on the speedway infield. Each main event will include a concert with a nationally-known artist. The concert schedule will be announced a future date. The track also will play host to Fanfest events June 13 and Aug. 8 during which fans will be able to tour garage areas, participate in race-related family activities and receive autographs from their favorite competitors.

Single-race tickets are on sale now and can be reserved online through the tickets pages of this Web site or by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223). Fans also can visit any Meijer store or the Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 200 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100 in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., next to Montgomery Inn or the speedway Fan Center off of I-71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 in Sparta, Ky. Season race plans also are available now and can be reserved by phone at 859-578-2300, online through the Kentucky Speedway Web site or through track ticket offices.

Story by Mike Schmaltz

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