Kentucky Speedway 2004 Schedule
Racing expanded to four months in 2004
ASA Series joins lineup in May, September
SPARTA, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2003) Race fans in the tri-state region will enjoy not four but five weekends of action next year at the Kentucky Speedway, with eight races to be broadcast on national television. Track officials released their 2004 season schedule during a Sept. 30 press conference at the speedway, where they announced racing would continue into September next year. The new event will feature the American Speed Association teaming up with the NASCAR Kodak Southeast Elite Series and the restructured Dash Series in a one-day lineup called the "Vocational Training & Placement Services (V-TAPS) Triple Header Fall Classic." ASA will also appear at the track on opening weekend in May.
Photo by Don Ward
From left, Mark
Cassis, Tim Bray.
"Our overall theme for the season is 'More in '04'. With more races, more entertainment and more excitement, we guarantee we will not disappoint the great sponsors and fans of Kentucky Speedway," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "All five of our main events are already sponsored, which highlights the strong support this venue receives from our corporate markets. Concerts, including the return of Country Stampede in June, car shows and driving schools will all play an important role in our 'More in '04 theme."
In all, the Kentucky Speedway will expand its schedule to include 11 races and five event weekends in 2004. Nine of the 11 scheduled races will run at night and eight will be broadcast nationally over a combined four television networks.
Feature race events include the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5-205" in May; the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300" in June; the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" in July; the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series "Belterra Casino Indy 300" in August; and the new "V-TAPS Triple Header Fall Classic" in September.
"To have everything sponsored this early is amazing, and it really shows how far we've come," Cassis said. He also cited the numerous racing teams from NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series who test there regularly. "We're busy year-round, and with the great weather we have here in September, it just makes sense to extend our season another month."
Racing begins May 7-8 with the return of the ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5-205" and the first ASA appearance in a 125-lap, 188-mile event. On May 8, ARCA RE/MAX Series title sponsor Channel 5 (WLWT-TV, NBC) will broadcast its event live to the Greater Cincinnati market for the third consecutive year and SPEED Channel will telecast the race to a national cable audience. Last season, young gun Kyle Busch outdueled Frank Kimmel to take The Channel 5-205 title. ASA opens a new chapter of Kentucky Speedway race history May 7 on SPEED Channel.
Photo by Don Ward
Frank Kimmel's show
car is rolled out.
The 2004 edition of the NASCAR Busch Series "Meijer 300" will take to the track on June 19. Team Marines driver Bobby Hamilton, Jr., won a closing-laps battle with Jason Keller in 2003 to capture the third Kentucky Speedway series title in front of 69,000 fans. The event is expected to play to a fourth consecutive sellout crowd and will be broadcast live on the FX Network. The weekend begins on June 18 with a 150-mile NKSES race. Last season, series driver Scott Carlson won the first caution-free race in Kentucky Speedway history.
"The Built Ford Tough 225, presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" will take the green flag at Kentucky Speedway on July 10. Rookie Carl Edwards took his first career series win at Kentucky last season and promptly celebrated with a backflip off of the rear of his truck. The ARCA RE/MAX Series leads off the weekend with a 150-mile race on July 9. SPEED Channel will carry both events.
The speedway shifts its focus to open-wheel racing for its August weekend when the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series arrives for the fifth "Belterra Casino Indy 300" on Aug. 15. The race will start at 4:00 p.m. for the first time and ABC will provide live national coverage. Last season, two-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr., averaged a speed of 197.897 mph while winning the second-fastest race in series history. The weekend begins with the third running of IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series "Kentucky 100" on Aug. 14.
Race engines will pierce the fall air for the first time at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 18 during the inaugural "V-TAPS Triple Header Fall Classic." The Dash Series, NKSES and ASA will race a combined 475 miles in one evening. SPEED Channel will showcase the 225-mile ASA race in prime time.
"The Country Stampede" music festival also expands in 2004 by adding a fourth day of music and fun. The all-star event takes to the stage June 3-6. In 2003, 30 national acts including Diamond Rio, Lonestar, Brad Paisley and Travis Tritt performed before a combined three-day crowd of 90,000.
In addition to an expanded racing schedule, the Kentucky Speedway will add a second fan-oriented event to precede its racing weekends. The "Green Flag Festival" will kick off the season at the Meijer Supercenter in Florence, Ky., on Sunday, May 2. And a new event, the "Festival of Speed," will take place Friday, Aug. 13, at the Newport on the Levee in Newport, Ky., from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. to precede the IRL race weekend.
Cassis said track officials are still hopeful for a Winston Cup race at some future point, but until that time comes, "We're committed to putting on the finest show possible in a top-notch facility that we think is worthy of Winston Cup."
Tickets are available online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com or www.tickets.com; via telephone at 1-888-652-RACE; or in person at the Fan Center in Sparta or at the ticket office at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Suite 200, Fort Mitchell, Ky.
Back to 2003 Kentucky Speedway Articles.