Fans Enjoy Entertaining Ford Fan Day
Thousands of race enthusiasts from Kentucky Speedway's core Louisville, Ky., Lexington, Ky., and Cincinnati, Ohio markets joined those from regional strongholds Columbus, Ohio and Dayton, Ohio along with supporters as far away as Texas for an afternoon of family fun at the 107,000 capacity facility on April 27 during Ford Fan Day.
A wide array of attractions included a fire-infused Fire and Safety Team demonstration, live concerts with emerging artists Andy Velo and JetSet GetSet, children's activities ranging from a petting zoo to Raceway Ministries crafts, U.S. Legends Cars International competition on the speedway's quarter-mile track, car shows featuring Ford F-150s and Mustangs along with chances for guests to explore the speedway's Fan Zone, garages, and suites as well as photo opportunities with the Sprint Show Car in Victory Lane and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Championship Trophy in the Media Center.
Kentucky Speedway season ticket holders Scott Jenkins and Connie Valigora made the convenient day trip from Columbus, Ohio to see areas of the speedway they previously hadn't.
"They have these events for the fans to enjoy the day at the track and see things you don’t normally see. We got go to the flagstand, we went up to the spotter’s stand on the roof, went to the suites and sat in Bruton Smith’s chair. You don’t normally see that and it made it a very enjoyable experience today," Jenkins said.
The tandem also was most interested in two interactive "Ask the GM" sessions with the venue’s General Manager Mark Simendinger.
"We got to talk to General Manager Mark Simendinger about the season ticket holder party, parking and what the future holds for the speedway," Valigora said.
Jenkins approved of what he heard during the question-and-answer exchanges.
"Being season ticket holders, we’re investing in the future of the track. We’ll be back. I’ve been to 11 of the Sprint Cup tracks and almost 50 races in my lifetime. This track is convenient to our region. Every track has its own personality and we like this place. It’s nice. It’s easy in, easy out for us," Jenkins added.
While at least two season ticket members conducted a little business during the five-hour event, many visitors simply enjoyed valuable time with family and friends.
Amanda Beatty introduced her young daughter Olivia to the speedway. They joined a group of friends that traveled from Fairborn, Ohio near Dayton.
"We had a lot of fun. We got to walk on the track, see pit road, the suites, the (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) trophy and how the fire crew puts out the fires when the cars are wrecked. My daughter got to sit in the stock car in Victory Lane and had fun at the petting zoo. We’ll be here for the race this year. It’ll be my first time here and it’ll be fun," Beatty said.
The Dale Earnhardt, Jr., fan also predicted a Quaker State 400 victory for her favorite No. 88 team.
“Of course he’s going to win it,” she added.
Youngster Charlie McIntosh brought his nine-year-old cousin Conner Jackson to the free event all the way from Texas.
“My favorite part was the bouncy houses, watching the (Legends) races and looking at some of the cars. Victory Lane was awesome and we got all this cool stuff,” Jackson said.
McIntosh particularly enjoyed interactive race-related activities and walking around the speedway’s 1.5-mile tri-oval.
“I got to move some tires around and that was fun. We went all the way around the track,” he said.
Both young fans predicted Kyle Busch would become the first repeat NSCS race winner in track history when the Quaker State 400 returns on Saturday, June 29 to provide the finale for a tripleheader weekend that also includes the June 28 NASCAR Nationwide Series Feed The Children 300 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225.
“Kyle Busch is a great racer and a great sport,” Jackson said, holding a bag of goodies he collected during the children's Laps of Fun Scavenger Hunt.
“He’s good at racing,” McIntosh added.
Purchase tickets, campsites and Fan Zone passes for the blockbuster June weekend to determine which, if any, Ford Fan Day Quaker State 400 predictions prove accurate.