NASCAR questions benefits of a Cup race at Kentucky

NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. formally denied most of the allegations in Kentucky Speedway's antitrust lawsuit when each filed responses Friday to the track's revised complaint. Kentucky Speedway alleges that the France family-owned NASCAR conspires with the publicly traded ISC (which has the majority of its voting stock owned by the France family) to keep non-ISC tracks from getting Nextel Cup events. In separate filings in U.S. District Court in Kentucky, NASCAR and ISC claim the companies have not violated antitrust laws. Although they operate as two separate entities, among the defenses NASCAR and ISC use is the established legal theory that two companies with common ownership cannot conspire to violate antitrust laws. NASCAR also challenges Kentucky's assertion that a Nextel Cup race at Kentucky would have a short-term economic benefit to NASCAR. In its filing, ISC almost comically challenges a Kentucky Speedway assertion, when discussing the ability of the track to host a Cup date, that the track is "also immediately accessible via helicopter." To that statement, ISC responds: "ISC admits … that, to some extent, depending upon weather conditions, the entire planet, including the Kentucky Speedway, is 'immediately accessible via helicopter.'" Both NASCAR and ISC indicated they plan to move for summary judgment, where the companies will ask the judge to throw out the case before going to trial.

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