Lawsuit delay could jeopardize Kentucky Speedway Cup date

Kentucky Speedway

Kentucky Speedway’s founders have received a 60-day extension to file their next brief in their antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp., pushing a decision on the appeal likely until April 2009 at the earliest.

The track is expected to be sold to Speedway Motorsports Inc. by the end of December. SMI Chairman Bruton Smith has said that he cannot get a Cup race for the track until the lawsuit is resolved, partly because he is considered a co-conspirator in the non-awarding of a Cup race to Kentucky.

Final briefs, which were supposed to be in by Dec. 16, have been pushed to Jan. 28.

A hearing likely would be held in February or March, and it typically takes at least two months for a decision to be made in cases such as this.

The later a decision is made in 2009, the more unlikely it would be for the track to get a Sprint Cup date in 2010. Tracks typically begin negotiations on sanction agreements in April and May, and NASCAR likes to get its schedule done by August.

"Anything can happen in court, and I would not begin to speculate on the judicial process or its timelines," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Friday. “As we've said, the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule is very full, and we do not foresee a new date. Kentucky Speedway currently has two very popular events with the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."

Poston was not optimistic about Kentucky getting a date in 2010. "I can say that because Kentucky Speedway has requested a sixty day extension of time to respond to our brief, the likelihood that a resolution of the litigation will come in time for 2010 realignment seems remote," Poston said.

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