With lawsuit behind them look for Kentucky to get Cup date in 2011

NASCAR Chairman Brian France wouldn’t say Friday when Kentucky Speedway would get a Sprint Cup date but obviously was pleased with the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of NASCAR and sister company International Speedway Corp. in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the former owners of Kentucky Speedway.

NASCAR has told new Kentucky owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. that it would not consider a realignment request until the case is resolved. The founders of Kentucky Speedway have only two potential appeals left: They can ask for a hearing in front of all of the 24 appeals court judges, and they can also appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Both avenues are considered longshots.

“We’re very pleased obviously," France said. “I’m not going to have any comment on when a Cup race can be there other than to say we’re just very pleased. It validates our business model and everything else. It’s a big, big ruling."

SMI Chairman Bruton Smith said he expects to have a Cup race at Kentucky in 2011.

“This is a big win for NASCAR and a big win for the sport of stock-car racing," Smith said in a statement, which did not address which track would lose a date in the realignment request. “But the biggest winners will be the fans who want a Sprint Cup race in Kentucky. Now we can grow Speedway Motorsports with an expansion plan for the future of Kentucky Speedway.

“That’s our intention moving forward. Our goal has been to host a Sprint Cup race at that facility and now we can work toward making that happen." Scenedaily.com

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