The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) partnered with Kentucky Speedway to open the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Drive Smart. Buckle Up! Kentucky 150" race week today by presenting a highway safety program to students at Western Hills High School.

The 18th ARCA RE/MAX Series race in Kentucky Speedway history will take the green flag Saturday, May 9 at 8:00 p.m. The full day of track activity also features a prerace concert with country music artist Chuck Wicks and ARCA RE/MAX Series qualifying.

KOHS utilized a rollover simulator and the Kentucky Speedway showcar during today's program to illustrate the benefits of using a seat belt.

"Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year olds in the United States," said Chuck Geveden, executive director of the Office of Highway Safety. "We are pleased to partner with the Kentucky Speedway as a sponsor of the "Drive Smart. Buckle-Up! Kentucky 150," which aids us in educating this particular age group on the dangers associated with certain driving habits."

The rollover simulator uses life-size dummies to demonstrate what could happen to unbelted occupants in a rollover crash. Unbuckled dummies are ejected as it rolls while buckled dummies remain safely restrained.

"Safety is first and foremost on the racetrack. During the "Drive Smart. Buckle-Up! Kentucky 150" speeds will approach 175 mph. All the cars are equipped with the very latest driver restraints including a five-point seat belt harness," said Tim Bray, Kentucky Speedway director of communications.

In Kentucky last year, 138 of the 826 total fatalities were 15- to 20-year old drivers. All states have a zero tolerance law, meaning it is illegal for people under 21 to drive after drinking any amount of alcohol; however, seven percent of the teenage fatalities were alcohol related. Kentucky also has a primary seat belt law, but teenagers are the least likely age group to buckle up. Over 50 percent of the teenage fatalities were drivers not wearing a seat belt. For more information visit highwaysafety.ky.gov and kentuckyspeedway.com.

Advance race tickets, new infield camping and special offers for the "Drive Smart. Buckle-Up! Kentucky 150" and all 2009 Kentucky Speedway races can be reserved online through the tickets page of this Web site, by phone at 888-652-RACE (7223), or by visiting Meijer stores and the speedway ticket offices at 400 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100, near the Montgomery Inn Restaurant in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., or in the Sparta, Ky., Fan Center located off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N. Tickets also can be reserved at Meijer stores and Tickets.com outlets. Tickets also will be on sale up to race time at the speedway gates.

Kentucky Speedway is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports which, through its subsidiary companies, is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. For more information, visit www.speedwaymotorsports.com



~Kentucky Speedway ~