SPARTA, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky's governor said both the state and the track are prepared for this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Kentucky Speedway. In 2011, they ran into a lot of issues with traffic at the inaugural Sprint Cup race in the Commonwealth. An estimated 10,000 people didn't even make it inside the track. Monday morning, Gov. Steve Beshear got a tour of the track in Gallatin County and the improvements to stop that problem.
"I have never known a speedway to open without problems," said Bruton Smith, the chairman and CEO of Sports Motorsports, Inc. "Everyone I've seen open, and that's way back to speedway in Florida, and they had problems."
Smith said the problems are now fixed. In the last year the state and the track say they spent a total of about $15 million to change things both inside and out. Among the changes is a new parking lot that officials say can accommodate 15,000 to 20,000 more cars than last year.
Another of the changes made was to Kentucky 35. The state highway was expanded to fit seven lanes and a tunnel was built for fans to walk through to get from the parking lots to the speedway. Gov. Beshear said there will still be delays like you get at any event with more than a 100,000 people.
"I think what we have done here will move delays traffic situations down into that category where it's an expected small delay instead of the huge problems that we had," said Beshear.
That is a promise the Speedway made to the thousands who never made it in to see the first NASCAR race in Kentucky, and they are determined to keep this time around.
They will see how everything plays on June 30, the date of this year's Quaker State 400.