Fourth Kentucky Speedway Season Marked By Milestones
Kentucky Speedway witnessed significant milestones during its recently completed 2003 season including the fastest race in its four-year history, a third straight NASCAR Busch Series event sellout, its first caution-free race, the crowning of its youngest race champion and its first three-day concert event. All helped the speedway pass the one million mark in total event attendance.
The Indy Racing League IndyCar Series staged the fastest race in both series and speedway history in August when Sam Hornish, Jr., scorched "The Belterra Casino Indy 300" field with an average speed of 197.897 mph. It was Hornish, Jr.'s first win and third straight top-three finish at Kentucky Speedway.
In June, the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" became the only event in speedway history to sell out in three consecutive seasons. The overflow crowd of 69,366 saw Stacy Compton start from the pole after winning his first career series award with a series track record lap of 176.834 mph. Bobby Hamilton, Jr., became the speedway's third different NASCAR Busch Series race winner.
Also in June, Scott Carlson went wire-to-wire to win the NASCAR Kodak Southeast Series "Kentucky 150" and deliver the first caution-free race in speedway history on Lexington Herald-Leader Pole Night. The race became the fastest stock car race in speedway history. It was completed in 58 minutes and 43 seconds at an average speed 153.278 mph.
The Roush Racing Fords of Jon Wood and Carl Edwards dominated the headlines during the July race weekend and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers." Wood set a series track record by winning the pole position with a 169.641 mph lap. Edwards became the second rookie to win a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Kentucky Speedway, following in the footsteps of Scott Riggs (2001).
The ARCA RE/MAX Series contributed to the speedway record book by producing the youngest champion in speedway history. Kyle Busch earned the honor by outdueling veteran Frank Kimmel to take "The Channel 5-205" title in May. At 18-years and nine-days old, Busch replaced 2002 Indy Racing League Infiniti Pro Series winner A.J. Foyt, IV, who earned his victory at 18-years, two-months and 17-days of age.
The 2003 season also saw the speedway four-year event attendance total surge to 1,192,477, thanks in large part to the "Country Stampede" festival. The three-day event visited Kentucky for the first time and attracted an estimated 90,000 fans. Diamond Rio, Lonestar, Emerson Drive, Travis Tritt, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Brad Paisley were among the top acts entertaining speedway fans.
~ Kentucky Speedway ~