Kentucky Speedway likely closer to 2011 Cup date

Kentucky Speedway’s prospects of getting a Sprint Cup race in 2011 improved Friday as former co-owner Richard Duchossois dropped his lawsuit against former co-owner Jerry Carroll.

Duchossois sued Carroll over the right to continue the Kentucky Speedway founders’ antitrust litigation against NASCAR. Carroll didn’t want to continue pursuing the case, while Duchossois wanted to consider requesting the Supreme Court to hear an appeal. A May 7 trial had been scheduled in the battle between the founders, but a filing in the case Friday indicated both sides had settled.

It was not immediately clear if there definitely won’t be a request for an appeal to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, but it seems unlikely Carroll would have settled without a guarantee from Duchossois that there will be no more appeals.

The deadline to request for the Supreme Court to hear the antitrust case is May 19, and if the request is filed, the court likely will not decide whether to hear an appeal until October at the earliest. With NASCAR’s long-standing policy that it won’t consider moving a Cup date to Kentucky until the antitrust litigation is completely resolved, the filing of a request to the U.S. Supreme Court likely would keep Kentucky off the 2011 Cup schedule.

But without a request, track owner Bruton Smith should be able to realign a race from one of his other Speedway Motorsports tracks to Kentucky. He hasn’t said which track would lose a race, but he currently has two races at Atlanta, Bristol, New Hampshire, Charlotte and Texas. It seems unlikely that popular tracks Bristol, Charlotte or Texas would lose a race. Atlanta has struggled the most to sell tickets. Scenedaily.com

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