Speedway Motorsports, Inc. CEO Bruton Smith said this week that a “big press conference” is scheduled for August 10 at Kentucky Speedway. Sources tell Sirius Speedway that the track will announce that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will compete at the Sparta oval next season.
Smith declined to discuss the specifics of the announcement, telling reporters, "Don’t try to get me to hold that press conference now. We’ll have a lot of things to announce when we’re there; lots of the changes that we’re making." Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip -- both leading players in the construction of the speedway -- are expected to be in attendance, as is former track owner Jerry Carroll.
Carroll also declined to confirm a 2011 Sprint Cup race in advance of the official announcement, but said, "If Bruton Smith is coming all the way up here and the governor is coming all the way up here, they’re not going to tell people bad news. Figure it from there."
NASCAR Vice President Steve O'Donnell confirmed last month that SMI has requested that NASCAR relocate at least one of its races next season, and last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR Chairman France said the 2011 schedule should be announced within the next two weeks. Kentucky Speedway would be the first new addition to the schedule since the Chicagoland and Kansas Speedways in 2001.
Multiple sources tell Sirius Speedway that a second race will be transferred from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California to Kansas Speedway next season; both International Speedway Corporation properties. ISC will reportedly not be able to add a second Sprint Cup date at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, however, after NASCAR was unable to coordinate multiple date and venue changes to the satisfaction of all parties. That move will reportedly wait for at least another year, with SMI
transfering a single date from Atlanta Motor Speedway to Kentucky in 2011.
That would be good news to fans at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, who have been bracing for the possible loss of a race to Las Vegas.