Bluegrass Motorsports

Cincinnati investors launch
construction of private race track

Motorsports club to be
playground for race enthusiasts

By Don Ward

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?

Bluegrass Motorsports Groundbreaking

Photo by Don Ward

From left, Dr. Sam Poppell
(Brad’s 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.

That’s what many in this crowd wanted to see during the first look at what will soon become the state’s 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 Daly.

Locator Map

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 of Cincinnati.
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.



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