construction of private race track
club to be
playground for race enthusiasts
GLENCOE, Ky. (May 2008) What could bring the
governor of Kentucky and nearly 300 people to a remote hilltop off I-71
in rural Gallatin County?
by Don Ward
left, Dr. Sam Poppell
(Brads father), Brad Poppell,
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and
Gallatin County-Judge Executive
Kenny French take part in the
groundbreaking ceremony April 10
in Gallatin County, Ky. The map
below shows the location of the
Bluegrass Motorsports Club.
Thats what many in this crowd wanted to see during
the first look at what will soon become the states first private
auto racing club. Developer Brad Poppell lured Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear
and a host of dignitaries and state politicians to a groundbreaking
ceremony for his Bluegrass Motorsports Club and Road Course, located
three miles north of I-71 at the Glencoe exit. Beshear and nearly a
dozen others took part in the ceremonial shovel of the first bit of
dirt as heavy equipment buzzed in the hills behind them, clearing trees
and brush for the future track.
Several road course race cars were on display at the tented area, where
Beshear, Poppell, Cincinnati area investors and the track designer,
Paxton Waters, and retired Formula One driver Derek Daly took turns
speaking to the crowd.
When completed, targeted for March 2009, the $20 million development
will include an elaborate clubhouse, multiple road racing tracks and
horse trails. Club members will pay for time on the track to race their
high performance cars Porsches, BMWs, Ferraris and motorcycles.
Andy Vertrees, the former operations manager at the nearby Kentucky
Speedway, has been hired to direct operations at this new private venture.
Waters is designing the course but said he incorporated input from driver
The 3.65-mile road course will feature signature curves
and an 11-degree banked Monza turn and a 4,000-foot straightaway.
It will have the capability of being divided into 12 primary tracks
and configured more than 100 ways.
We want to make this the playground of Kentucky, said Poppell
Just a few days earlier, State Rep. Royce Adams of nearby Dry Ridge
sponsored a resolution to the Kentucky General Assembly designating
Gallatin County the motorsports capital of Kentucky.
This is an exciting day for the Commonwealth of Kentucky,
Beshear said in his remarks. Yesterday, I helped kick off the
Kentucky Derby festival. Today, we are celebrating a different kind
of horsepower. This motorsports club will tap into one of the strongest
and most basic instincts every driver has felt since the moment he or
she has gotten behind the wheel stomping on the accelerator to
see just how fast this baby will go.
The 500-acre development is being funded entirely by private money,
with no funding from the state or special incentives. Poppell said he
hopes to recruit up to 250 members. So far, he has signed nearly 50.
The land was purchased for nearly $4 million from former Kentucky Gov.
Brereton Jones, a central Kentucky horse breeder.
Poppell said the club will be open to non-members but for a fee that
has not yet been determined for using the track. He predicted activities
taking place there every weekend of the year.
He added that the facility may be used for driving schools. The Kentucky
State Police already has inquired about using it for driver training.
For more information, visit: www.DriveBluegrass.com.
Back to May 2008 Articles.