Kansas eyes night race Kansas Speedway president Jeff Boerger says that he is intent on the 1.5-mile track “becoming the Mecca of Motorsports.” At least one matter is already certain: Boerger and track executives are moving forward in their plans to acquire a second Sprint Cup date at their facility by 2011, and possibly by 2010.
The track recently won the rights to a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino scheduled to be completed by the time of the proposed second race date.
As part of the proposal by parent company International Speedway Corp. to Wyandotte County leaders and the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, ISC President Lesa France Kennedy has indicated that ISC would petition NASCAR for two Sprint Cup dates if ISC was awarded the casino contract.
“As far as approaching ISC internally we’ve started those suggestions and it’s just a matter of when we work that out, what time of year,” Boerger said on Friday. “But NASCAR really doesn’t develop their schedule till the spring [before] the next season. So we’ve committed that we’re going to ask for a second date at Kansas and it’s going to be here by 2011. That’s when the casino is supposed to be completed from the track’s perspective, and [as] a track operator, I’d love to see it sooner.”
As for when the second date might be, Boerger says that remains to be determined.
“There are higher powers that will decide that than me but we’ll definitely be in the discussions,” he said, noting that he doesn’t know which other track will lose a date to Kansas. “It could fall in the spring. It could fall in the summer. But we fully anticipate from the track perspective … that [the race] will be under the lights. Our media partner will probably demand it. I think that’s another great thing.”
Kansas has never hosted a night race since it was added to the Cup schedule in 2001. Boerger expects that to change sooner than later, though.
“We need to push hard to get lights depending on what second date falls,” he said. “But I think that’s on the horizon.”