Monday, July 2, 2012

MKY Sports Roadtrip: Kentucky Speedway

It was a hot day in June as MKY Sports did our first road trip when we went to Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400. After getting ourselves out of bed at 3am we embarked on our trip to visit one of redneck nations favorite places, the race track. After last season, there were many people worried about traffic at this years race (many were not able to get in to the race last season). We arrived at Kentucky Speedway around 11am, and we were extremely pleased to see traffic flowing without problems. Kentucky State Police and local police officers did an amazing job directing traffic into the track.

Once we got the car parked, we began to see how much people love NASCAR. By 11am much of the parking was filling up and tents, grills, and coolers were spread all over the place. We decided to first go check out the festivities happening outside the track. Everywhere around the track companies had set up booths and had many exciting activities happening to keep visitors entertained. My favorite being the Kentucky National Championship Toyota on display with the National Championship trophy. It gave die hard fans a chance to get their picture with both the car and the trophy.

The parking area was where it was at, however, before the race. Many of the fans set up tents around their vehicles and were set up to tailgate. Groups of fans would gather together drink beer, grill, and meet new people. Never have I found a place where its so easy to make friends with other fans. We merely had to walk up and people were inviting toward us to join in their pre-race celebration. NASCAR nation really does know how to make a fellow fan feel welcome.

Once it was time for the race, we found it was extremely easy to find our way to our seats. Everything at Kentucky Speedway was marked perfectly to make it simple to find where you need to go. We had a radio scanner DJ purchased from a vender trailer, and it made it much easier to tell what was going on with the race. The noise from the cars was intense, so without the scanner we would not have been able to hear the announcer.

The race was fantastic. There were no wrecks, and the only cautions were due to debris and blown motors. For the fans that love wrecks, this may have been one to avoid but I loved seeing them race it out with long green flag runs. Despite the low cautions, many drivers had an opportunity to take a win here. In the end, however, Brad Keslowski came off a long caution running extremely well. With the low amount of laps left to go and other top drivers conserving fuel, Keslowski pulled away from the pack and cruised in for his third win of the season. With this win, he is in perfect position to qualify for the Chase. Even if he drops from the top 10, he has 2 more wins than any of the drivers after him.

Once the race was over, we made our way back to the cars expecting a tougher time leaving than we experienced coming into the speedway. We were pleasantly surprised to find that our expectations were incorrect. Within 15 minutes of arriving at the car, we were on 71 and headed home. I will state once again that Kentucky State Police and local authorities did a marvelous job handling the traffic in and out of the speedway.

Check back next week, as I cover next weekend's race at Daytona. MKY Sports will be hitting the road again on October 6th and 7th for the race at Talladega. I encourage anyone who has even a slight interest in NASCAR to take a trip to your closest track and watch some Sprint Cup action in person. If you're near Talladega, you could even go see that race and meet up with us. I have included below a short review by DJ Irvine about his experience at Kentucky Speedway.

DJ
This was my second NASCAR race and it was just as awesome as my first at Talladega in May. We arrived at 11am, with no problems that had haunted Kentucky Speedway a year ago. The parking lot assistance really impressed me, as there were many workers directing cars to spots.

For this race I rented a radio and two headsets so we could listen in on race progress as well as each driver's team communication. It was well worth the money to be able to listen and be able to focus on battles for position. Getting this radio really gave me a further appreciation for NASCAR and the team work it takes to win a race. Races can be won on pit road and they can be just as quickly lost. These teams make on the fly decisions and accurate adjustments to a machine running at speeds of 200 mph.

NASCAR races offer a unique sports experience as there are several large fan bases. There are Junior fans, Gordon fans, Marin fans, Jimmie fans, and Edwards fans just to name a few. These fans love their drivers and will scream at the top of their lungs, although nothing is heard over the unbelievable roar that these cars produce. A lot of tracks host well over 100,000 fans on race weekends, and most everyone you meet in the campgrounds are great people. NASCAR fans will relax in the sun, play cornhole, enjoy ice cold beer, grill, and enjoy time with their friends. Then when all the hot dogs are eaten and the cups are empty, everyone enjoys a great race. It's non-stop action from green flag to checkered.

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