New Promotions, Road Improvements, Sponsorships to Energize 2007 Kentucky Speedway Season
Kentucky Speedway will energize its 2007 season with eight event days highlighted by visits from the NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series, value-packed ticket offers, new fan-friendly promotions, its first foray into grassroots racing and a new automotive traffic plan. The venue's eighth season of operation will span five weekends from May 12 to Aug. 11.
Race Events The 66,089-seat venue will open its new season with the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Buckle Up Kentucky 150" May 12, co-promote its first street stock "Frank Kimmel Enduro Invitational" May 26, follow up with its high-profile NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" weekend June 15-16, play host to the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5 150" and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" July 13-14, and close its campaign with the first Indy Racing League IndyCar and Indy Pro series twilight and night races in track history Aug. 10-11. The NASCAR Busch Series and Indy Racing League IndyCar Series races will be featured on ESPN2. The July ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events will air on SPEED Channel.
Strong Sponsorship Support Buckle Up Kentucky is a new title sponsor for the speedway's opening weekend. The program is an initiative of the Kentucky State Police Governor's Highway Safety Program that encourages highway safety through educational and enforcement efforts. During the program, the state police will partner with local law enforcement to step up patrol activities and conduct traffic safety checkpoints in high-crash locations. More information about the program is available online at www.ghsp.ky.gov or by phone at 502-695-6213.
"We're excited to expand our seat belt messaging through our Kentucky Speedway partnership," Kentucky State Police Capt. Eric Walker said. "Kentucky race fans know the importance of seat belts. After all, every racecar driver wears one and we want Kentucky to follow the example by 'Buckling Up.'"
Meijer, the official supercenter of Kentucky Speedway, and Oreo will provide the respective title and presenting sponsorship for the June NASCAR Busch Series event that is expected to draw its seventh consecutive sellout crowd to the facility. The series has attracted an average crowd of 71,053 since its 2001 debut. Upstart David Gilliland, the current driver of the No. 38 Robert Yates Racing NEXTEL Cup Series entry, was a surprise victor in the 2005 event over a 43-car field that included a track-record eight regular NEXTEL Cup Series drivers such as inaugural speedway series event winner Kevin Harvick, fellow 2006 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup contenders Denny Hamlin and two-time speedway race winner Kyle Busch, two-time Kentucky race winner Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Reed Sorenson and J.J. Yeley.
Clearchannel Cincinnati radio stations 700 WLW AM, 1530 AM "HOMER: The Sports Animal," 102.7 FM WEBN and 92.5 FM "The Fox" will sponsor and promote the first of two Fanfest days on June 15 (please see details that follow). Clearchannel Cincinnati also served as a promotional partner for speedway events in 2006.
The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers and Ford Racing will return as the July NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event sponsors for the fifth straight season. Veteran Ron Hornaday, Jr., used his extensive experience to capture a 2006 series win after starting 22nd. The event is one of the most strongly supported races on the 25-race circuit.
WLWT-TV Channel 5, an NBC affiliate "Where the News Comes First" for Cincinnati, will sponsor an ARCA RE/MAX Series race at the speedway for the sixth time in 2007. The station has activated its past sponsorships with viewer giveaways and has previewed past NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck series speedway weekends with 30-minute "Up to Speed" specials. Last season NASCAR legacy Steve Wallace took a May win at the track and BREWCO Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series prospect Brad Coleman raced to a July win in the Channel 5 event.
The speedway also will play host to the first "Frank Kimmel Enduro Invitational" Saturday, June 2. Kentucky Speedway's first foray into grassroots racing will be promoted through a joint partnership between the soon-to-be eight-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion and the speedway. As many as 300 drivers are expected to battle for a $10,000 first-place prize in the first-of-its-kind, 100-lap, 150-mile event created to give local racers the opportunity to compete on one of racing's greatest stages. The field will be set by a blind draw and the race will include a mandatory pit stop on Lap 51. The $25,000 total purse is believed to be the country's largest for a street stock event.
"Cars in this event will be street stock, sportsman or bomber models that date back to the 70s and will be driven by competitors representing local tracks from around the country. Twenty-five years ago, these were the type of cars that raced on the top tracks. I'm partnering with Kentucky Speedway to organize this race because many of these drivers would never have the opportunity to race on a track such as this otherwise. This is their opportunity to bring their home-built racecar to this track and drive. It will be quite a show," Kimmel said of his first promotional effort.
Fan-Friendly Promotions and Ticket Offers Fans visiting the speedway in 2007 will be able to enjoy season-long promotions and offers.
Fanfest Days: Among the new fan-friendly promotions for the upcoming season are the June 15 Clearchannel Cincinnati Fanfest and Aug. 11 Indy Racing League Fanfest. Visitors will be able to see practice sessions, meet series drivers, enjoy live music and be entertained by interactive displays in garage areas both days.
Coca-Cola Family Four Pack: The Coca-Cola Family Four Pack will give fans the flexibility to purchase four reserved seats in Grandstands 5 and vouchers redeemable for four Coca-Colas and four Hot Dogs for any 2007 race event for the convenient price of $100. Guests can realize a savings of as much as $300 depending on the event.
KOI Auto Parts "In The Pits" Plan: Fans can visit select KOI Auto Parts locations to receive a voucher good for two free cold pit passes when they purchase two at the regular price. Vouchers can be redeemed at the track on race day. The cold pit area provides fans a view of the garages and pit road along with access to the area surrounding Victory Lane.
Tom Stinnett RV Freedom Center Camping Special: Beginning Jan. 8, 2007, speedway campers who visit www.stinnettrv.com will be able to print a special coupon that will save them $25 on the purchase of a reserved camping spot in the Tom Stinnett Reserved RV Campground outside Turns 1 and 2 at the speedway. The coupon can be redeemed when fans purchase their spot during a race weekend or when fans reserve a camping spot in advance through speedway ticket offices at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Suite 200, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., or the Sparta, Ky., Fan Center off of Interstate 71, Exit 57 and Ky. Rte. 35.
Pole Day/Fanfest Offer: Guests who make a $75 minimum purchase at any Meijer location in the Greater Cincinnati, Louisville or Lexington, Ky., area in the two week time frame preceding the June 15 and August 10 Fanfest events as well as the July 13 ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5 150" will receive a coupon good for two free admissions to the event that follows the purchase. Coupons, which represent a savings of $40 per event, will be issued at checkout counters and redeemed at the speedway ticket windows on the day of the event.
Season and Single-Event Tickets: Benefit-rich season ticket plans will go on sale Monday, Oct. 16 and single-event tickets will be available beginning Monday, Jan. 8, 2007. Season and single-event ticket prices will remain the same for a third consecutive season.
Four season ticket plans range in price from $165 to $255 depending on seat location and will save fans an average of 20 percent off single-event ticket rates. Season plans include the same reserved seats for four main race events, one VIP Parking Pass for each race, admission passes for both Fanfest events, one race-day cold pit pass with each ticket purchased, a 15 percent discount on the purchase of additional race tickets and the option to purchase admission to the June 16, July 14 and August 11 Outback Steakhouse Tailgate Parties for a combined total of $60. Each party will include complimentary Outback Steakhouse catering selections and Coca-Cola beverages, visits by competitors and race celebrities, games, music and more. Season ticket members also will be eligible to receive special event-related giveaways following all weekends.
Season plans can be reserved by phone at 859-578-2300 or online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com. Single-event tickets will range from $35 to $80 depending on event and seat location. Tickets for Fanfest events, the June 2 Frank Kimmel Enduro Invitational, August Indy Racing League Pole Day and July 13 ARCA RE/MAX Series race will be $20 for adults. Keeping families in mind, children age 12 and younger will enjoy free admission to each of the aforementioned four events and will be admitted to the cold pit area during main event days at a reduced price when accompanied by a paying adult. Highways and Byways Kentucky Speedway has commissioned Civil Engineers of Southern Ohio (CESO), Inc., a Dayton, Ohio based multi-disciplined engineering firm which specializes in traffic and transportation projects, to conduct a facility traffic study and form recommendations for improving automotive traffic flow around the speedway. One of the main goals of the study is to improve parking lot egress following events.
Improvements to Interstate 71 near the speedway also will aid speedway ingress and egress during the new season. A $23.7 million Kentucky Transportation Cabinet initiative which began in 2006 is scheduled for completion by 2008. The project is reconstructing the I-71 interchange with Ky. Rte. 35 at Exit 57, widening northbound and southbound I-71 to three lanes in the 3.2-mile span north of Exit 57 and building a new bridge over Ky. Rte. 35 at Exit 57 in addition to replacing three ramps.
Speedway guests also will benefit from the $16.8 million Ky. Rte. 1039 project off of I-71 Exit 55 which is scheduled to be completed by year's end. The new two-lane state route will cover 4.7 miles and connect to U.S. 42 at Markland Dam.
When the ongoing projects are complete, the Gallatin Co., area will have benefited from nearly $90 million in highway and infrastructure improvements since 2000. Customer Convenience Select Kentucky Speedway concession areas will accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express for purchases for the first time during the 2007 season. The upgrade is being made in response to the growing use of personal debit cards.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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