AP source: Kansas to get 2nd NASCAR race
A person familiar with the 2011 NASCAR schedule said Friday that
Kansas Speedway will get a second race next year.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition
of anonymity because the schedule hasn’t been released. A formal
announcement regarding a second Sprint Cup date at Kansas Speedway
may come as soon as next week.
A public schedule released Friday for Kansas Lt. Gov. Troy
Findley notes that he plans to give remarks regarding a second race
during a media event Tuesday at the 1.5-mile speedway in Kansas
A spokeswoman for the governor’s office declined to give more
details about Tuesday’s event.
”We really can’t confirm that that’s the case,” spokeswoman
Berry Holston said.
Speedway president Pat Warren said the track was still working
with NASCAR officials but that no media events were planned
regarding a second date.
”Nothing is final. We’re confident things will work out,”
News of a second race at Kansas follows a NASCAR announcement
this week that Atlanta was losing one of its two races in 2011. The
track has held two NASCAR events every year since 1960. A source
told AP that Kentucky, like Atlanta is owned by Bruton Smith’s
Speedway Motorsports Inc., will get a race in 2011.
Securing a second Sprint Cup race fulfills a key promise
developers of a casino at the speedway made sought approval from
the state for their $521 million project. They cleared the last
regulatory hurdle in February, and the casino is expected to open
early in 2012.
International Speedway Corp., the track’s parent, and Penn
National Gaming Inc. of Wyomissing, Pa., are partners in the
venture. They’ll build and the casino for the Kansas Lottery, which
will own the rights to the gambling and the gambling equipment –
and claim a share of the revenues.
The casino developers also promised to build a road course in
the current track’s infield as a condition of winning the
Jeff Boerger, president of the casino venture, declined to
confirm the second date for Kansas, but said any news about another
race for Kansas City ”would be good news.”
A second race date would be a financial boon to the Kansas
economy, which has already seen significant development near the
speedway property in the past decade. The area is home to a minor
league baseball team and Major League Soccer’s Kansas City Wizards
are constructing an 18,000-seat stadium within earshot of the
speedway. The stadium opens in 2011.
AP Sports Writer John Kekis in Watkins Glen, N.Y., contributed
to this story.