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Testing ban screws NASCAR tracks
The stars of NASCAR will not be visiting Kentucky Speedway as often next year.

NASCAR on Friday announced a no-testing policy for 2009 that includes tracks where Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series or Truck Series races are held. Kentucky Speedway hosts events featuring two of those three series each season.

The moratorium was hailed as a cost-cutting measure to help NASCAR teams operating in the worsening economy.

"This is a significant move during an unusual time for all of us," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "NASCAR has routinely adjusted its test policy over the years to reflect current conditions. This is another example of that."

Kentucky Speedway has benefited from NASCAR's old testing policy that limited testing at tracks that host Sprint Cup Series races. Because it does not have a date on the Sprint Cup schedule, teams that compete in the series were free to rent the 1.5-mile track in Gallatin County as often as they wanted.

To rent Kentucky Speedway for a day costs a minimum of $6,000, according to the track's Web site, and that fee includes ambulance, fire, safety and wrecker services. The charge goes up $1,500 for a second car. The rental fees are sometimes shared between teams or paid by manufacturers.

Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing are among the NASCAR teams that have tested at Kentucky Speedway in recent months. The track hosted 100 total stock car test days this year, and only two of those did not include NASCAR teams.

Kentucky Speedway officials declined to comment about Friday's announcement. Cincinnati.com

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