IndyCar weekend a dress rehearsal for Kentucky parking fixes
Traffic was a nightmare at the recent Kentucky NASCAR Sprint Cup event
Kentucky Speedway officials believe the traffic and parking problems that infuriated fans for the inaugural Quaker State 400 in July will not be an issue for this weekend's races.
Major parking and road improvements aren't complete, but changes will be evident when fans arrive for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday and the Firestone Indy Lights and IZOD IndyCar Series races Sunday.
"This is not going to be a Sprint Cup Series crowd," general manager Mark Simendinger said. "But even though it's not, it's probably our best chance at a dress rehearsal. So we're going to go ahead and take it, and we're going to be doing some of the things that we're going to try for Sprint Cup weekend."
Parking management will be a focus.
The track hired Veterans Security and Patrol of Cincinnati to manage parking after the July race that drew more than 100,000 fans. Law enforcement and speedway officials will communicate with parking administrators.
"One of the main things is to get more parking personnel parking more lots at one time, having more access points into the parking fields than we were doing before," Simendinger said. "I know that that will all go very smoothly. (With) the previous traffic plan, we never had an issue on a truck race or IndyCar race anyway. So improvement over that I know is going to be good."
Gravel aisles also have been installed in each grass parking area since July. Crowd size will determine how many lots will be utilized this weekend, Simendinger said.
Fans will see progress has been made on the new 142-acre parking area the speedway is developing across Ky. 35. The lot will expand parking by 35 percent when it's finished before the next Sprint Cup Series race weekend in June.
The state's widening of the exit ramp from southbound Interstate 71 to Ky. 35, the widening of Ky. 35 and the construction of a $1.2-million pedestrian tunnel connecting the speedway to the new parking area is in the design phase.
"They are doing a lot of design work and in the instance of the tunnel procuring materials," Simendinger said. Cincinnati.com
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