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Lots of (Negative) Feedback from the NASCAR Race


Lots of reports coming in of the god-awful traffic on I-71

Kentucky tried to prepare for the influx of NASCAR fans on its roads.  A letter to the Governor was able to get construction on I-71 halted for the weekend.  Apparently, that didn’t really help too much.  Tons of news outlets and fans are reporting that the traffic situation was the worst seen in the state in ages.  This made the annual Kentucky Derby traffic look like a normal rush hour, but I guess years of practice helps.

Because this was the inaugural race for the Sprint Cup Series’ Quaker 400, there was bound to be issues – but, I don’t think anyone envisioned it being this bad.  The majority of the press has been pretty negative, and not because the race wasn’t entertaining.  To compound with the traffic, the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta ran out of parking spaces.

Kentucky Speedway General Manager: “We were not ready”

Jimmie Johnson: “Address the traffic situation first at Kentucky”

Other tracks taking advantage of Kentucky Speedway’s misfortune

One fan’s Kentucky traffic tale

I’m still not sure why everyone was headed down there – the highlight was obviously the KSR-sponsored Derrik Cope the day before.  I’ve heard stories from friends and family already.  My sister was traveling from Louisville to Northern Kentucky – the traffic caused her 90 minute trip to stretch into 6 hours.  One of my buddies had a ticket, but never even made it to the track because of the traffic, despite waiting in it for hours.  Let’s hear your stories in the comment section.

Article written by Chris Thomas

72 Comments for Lots of (Negative) Feedback from the NASCAR Race

  1. NascarFan
    8:36 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    GOing LEFT!!!!!

  2. Nascar_Sux
    8:38 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Nascar schmascar…..Left turn……Left turn……..left turn……..left turn

  3. Cobalt Cat
    8:42 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’m a NASCAR fan, UK Fanatic, and Live in North Carolina now. So… I am thrilled we have a NASCAR event in KY, a little embarrassed we couldn’t handle the traffic – but horrified, that unlike any other NASCAR track, fans were not allowed to bring in their “personal” coolers. I’ve caught more crap from that than I would from losing to pUKe or the Tarholes…

    Lets get Sh*t Right!

  4. Park Diesel
    8:42 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Friday afternoon in Lexington I-75 N and I-64 W were closed for over three hours due to 11 unrelated accidents involving 46 vehicles (including cars, trucks, semis, a boat, & a firetruck).

  5. Big Blue 66
    8:43 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Incredible failure. Anyone, ANYONE could have looked at the situation and wouldve known they lacked infrastructure to hold this event. I dont know what kind of contract NASCAR made with the KY Speedway idiots, but with the traffic, lack of infrastructure and drivers complaining about the condition of the track, I dont see them having to worry about fixing anything for next year.

  6. jwheats
    8:44 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    4 hour ride just to drive 18 miles

  7. EricB
    8:45 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I was at the speedway in 2000 for the Metallica summer sanitarium tour and traffic was bad then. I drove by the speedway a month ago and was shocked that the roads hadn’t been upgraded since 2000. I thought wow it’s going to be awful race weekend!!!

  8. NotTheFrostyTipOne (aka Matt Jones)
    8:48 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    NASCAR in Kentucky is like Snow skiing in Florida!

  9. schwing
    8:48 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    i’m gunna drive and i’m gunna go fiast and i’m gunna turn ta tha left sumtimes.

  10. EricB
    8:51 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I will say that I made it almost home from Bristol motor speedway before another couple I know got out of the parking lot back in 2008 and I live around bowling green. So it’s not like other race tracks don’t have traffic problems. Atlanta was the same way up until a couple years ago.

  11. idiots
    8:53 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    5 – 109 laps of green flag racing, the track was awesome.

    people are idiots. if you left after 2 pm to go to a NASCAR race, that’s stupid. left NKY at noon, took less than an hour.

  12. UKChill Fan
    9:01 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Way down on my list of worries.

  13. Dick Trickle
    9:02 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’m not understanding why they were not prepared? They sold the tickets, didn’t they know how many folks were coming? Did they think everyone was going to carpool?

  14. Calipari'sInYourEar
    9:05 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Dear Lord Baby Jesus… people who go watch NASCAR races have no room to complain about their experience sucking balls.

    You went to see NASCAR, what did you expect? A free wife beater?

  15. F1
    9:06 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Thank God for Formula One!

  16. kramer
    9:08 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I went, luckily we left early, like 9 am, we sat in a line to park. I called people I knew coming to the race to warn them how crowded it was. My friend coming from Louisville, got to Carrolton at 1:20 and texed me they were in traffic, at 5:20 they finally were in the Speedway. My mother in law was camping 30 minutes away sat in traffic till 8:30pm, got in to see the last part of the race.Had a great time though, traffic situation needs to start being worked on now though.

  17. Rusty Kuntz Ballplayer
    9:13 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    women’s soccer > nascar

  18. ACOTKY
    9:13 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    This was my first NASCAR experience and it was terrible. I spent $100 on a ticket and never made it into the track. We left at 1 pm to make the normal 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive to Sparta. It took us like 3 hours to make the last 9 miles. Once we finally got off the exit and got within a couple of miles we noticed that their wasn’t anywhere within 5 miles to park. We called a state trooper friend and he said that not only was there not any more parking left, but he couldn’t even get near the track and he was on duty. Needless to say we gave up and went home. Don’t sell 107,000 tickets if you only have parking available for 70 or 80,000 tops. Traffic was still backed up for 20 or so miles south of the exit. I feel like the main problem that caused the back up on the interstate was the lack of parking. It doesn’t matter if you have an eight lane highway if once the people get there they have no where to go! I read the track’s/state’s traffic plan online and it only addressed north of Sparta. Nowhere did I see any mention of anything south of the exits on I-71. Another thing, once we got to the track there were troopers everywhere just sitting in their cars and the ones that were trying to direct traffic turned the road going in to one lane. It just seemed counterproductive. Anyway, long story short I will never go to Sparta or Kentucky Speedway ever again and will probably never attempt to attend another NASCAR race.

  19. Parsons Is Still Gay
    9:13 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Who cares…….NASCAR sucks!

  20. yea
    9:21 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    NASCAR sucks….. people who like it suck too

  21. Nascar is lame
    9:24 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Should have stayed home to rest up for the womens world cup this morning. Soccer is a real sport by the way. Nascar is just a redneck hobby.

  22. Pudweedish
    9:26 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Screw NASCAR……it’s hardly a sport to begin with.

  23. Cal
    9:26 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    one more reason to hate nascar

  24. shaun
    9:29 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    3 1/2 hours to go 3 miles on 127 for a boring race,

  25. NKY_UK_fan
    9:31 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I had 4-5 family members go and they took US 42. Had no problems.

  26. Han
    9:33 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I didn’t have a problem with traffic because I wasn’t watching a retarded “sport” for drunk rednecks.

  27. Yoursportsbooksucks
    9:34 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Let’s all gather to watch cars drive round and round in a circle!!!!!! YAY!!!

  28. poe
    9:36 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    i have to say i am surprised by all the negativity … i had absolutely no problems, i didn’t leave my house and i got drunk … i read about the “parade” the next day in the mornin’ paper … life is good!

  29. ryan loftus
    9:39 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    man it all sucked, could not get there from here, I will never go back to this shit!

  30. PayUp
    9:41 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    26 & 27) You all are probably homos who drive hybrids. Yay!

  31. Beer
    9:44 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    The biggest failure was just wanting to attend a NASCAR race, and watch people drive in circles.

  32. joker smoker
    9:47 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    shut up yuppies

  33. joker smoker
    9:48 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    how many of you travel far to watch a boring ass poor excuse for a football team?

  34. Miller
    9:51 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I will say I’ve been to a NASCAR race and it does get boring as shit after a while. When football starts NASCAR becomes unimportant.

  35. JUNE BUG
    9:52 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    33) good point…whats funny is some of the people who are bashing the people that drove a long distance to watch a good entertaining show probably drove to watch the music city bowl or liberty bowl which are boring toilet bowls.

  36. Maggard's Left Nut
    9:56 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Matt Jones is a regular at the night race in Bristol in late August. NASCAR sucks!

  37. Cousins Fake Teeth
    9:58 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    So let me get this straight. When the traffic goes well, its a good job on behalf of law enforcement. When traffic goes bad, blame the event. Got it.

  38. Calipari'sInYourEar
    9:58 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Anyone comparing NASCAR to football sniffed too much brake cleaner as a child.

  39. A Realist
    10:00 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’ll bet there is a right turn somewhere on I-71 that confused the crap out of everyone…..

  40. Calipari'sInYourEar
    10:02 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    If you have ever waited in line to see a bearded lady at the carnival then you just might be a redneck.

  41. JBR
    10:08 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’m proud of the anti-nascar comments…I wrongly assumed that many those in our “enlightened” state were almost all nascar fans. Drunk rednecks watching little machines go in circles…about sums it up. & nice comment 39…clever

  42. Hard Hittin' CAT
    10:15 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    This was my first time attending a NASCAR race. We left Frankfort at 8:30am and got parked around 10:00am, thank GOD. Traffic was ridiculous thereafter and continued pouring into the parking lots until halfway through the race. The worse part for us was leaving. It took us 2 hours to get out of our parking lot. Rednecks were to the boiling point and ready to throw down.

    Not only was parking screwed up from the beginning but there was ONE porta potty for our section of the parking lot. ONE!! People were waiting an hour or longer to use the bathroom! Seriously? Also there was no place anywhere to buy water or food throughout the parking areas.

    Over 100,000 people, not enough parking by far, not enough bathrooms by far, and no water or food venders. ?? The fact that it was the first race isn’t an excuse being that the people who own it also own several other NASCAR race tracks. I’m not a big enough fan of NASCAR to be able to deal with it. My wife and I were not happy. Probably won’t ever be back.

  43. UKGoBigBlue
    10:35 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    This is KY, we always screw things like this up. Only in KY do you sell more tickets then you have parking spaces. They’ve been bitching about getting this stupid race for how many years; common sense, you would think they would have added more lanes to the road in & out of the race track & space to park cars. Seriously, how hard is it to screw this up. You always plan for worst case scenario when you’re holding an event of this size for the first time. Someone if not everyone in management should get fired over this stupidity. Who builds an f’ing race track out in the middle of the sticks.

  44. tdogg4033011
    10:39 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    42) what up my homie??? where the hell ya been ? havent seen ya on here in awhile ….

  45. Hard Hittin' CAT
    10:53 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    what up tdogg? I’ve been chillin’, you know. Holla at ‘cha boy.

  46. timer
    10:54 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    The traffic situation was predictable….We expected it and planned for it. We left very early for the race, got there early and tailgated all day. We had a great time!

  47. tdogg4033011
    10:57 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    45) I hear ya, you ready for football season man?? You gettin ya season tickets again??

  48. cats11
    11:00 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    People sit in traffic… to watch traffic… only to sit in more traffic?

  49. Jason
    11:02 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    What were they expecting….they’ve always had traffic issues at Kentucky Speedway. I remember going to a truck race there several years ago and I-71 bottled up badly near the speedway. And that was before the track was expanded from 66,000 to 107,000. So I knew it was going to be apocalyptic.

  50. UKSoCal
    11:02 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    Why wasn’t this expected? The exact same thing happened their first biggish race there…

  51. Shawn W
    11:22 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    we had six people going to the track, and we left Marion co at 10 am… stopped in Frankfort at 11:15 to get some food…Sparta KY at 1 p.m race track at 8… parking…. shuttle buses sucked and well pretty much people were on top of people… the state police didn’t even need to be there cause the done nothing but lean against their cars and drive in opposite lane to go around the mayhem!!! oh and wasn’t there supposed to be national guard there?? i never saw the first one… and oh yea!!! go Jeff Gordon and Rock out Cats!!!

  52. Calipari'sInYourEar
    11:29 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    #46 – cats11 – Winning post of the weekend.

    Now go make fun of Matt’s baseball trip.

  53. Planning
    11:49 pm July 10, 2011 Permalink

    We received our tickets in Northern Kentucky at 4:30 P.M. on Saturday from a raffle. Knowing that 71 was probably going to be a gonk show, we crossed the river into Indiana and went down 156 all the way to the Markland Dam. Zero traffic. Made it to Warsaw, and instead of taking 1039, let the GPS take us to 35 and up, made it to the track right at prerace. Instead of parking in the mess known as the parking lot, parked on the side of 35 about .5 miles from the track for free. After the race, got in our car, hit 35 to 42 N and had zero traffic on the way home and made it back to NKY in an hour. There are other ways to the track, people familiar with the area should have known there are plenty of backroads that make it there. Just use an atlas or alternate routes on your GPS. I feel bad for those that didn’t, and its no excuse for the lack of parking and traffic–but if people just blindly follow their GPS, and don’t plan ahead accordingly, things like this happen. And don’t think that it was entirely a parking/road availability issue. Having been to the Bristol night race twice, if the small town of Bristol can handle the traffic (much more than Kentucky), then the Warsaw/Sparta area can to. Bad planning.

  54. ACOTKY
    12:10 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    First of all I feel like a lot of the people commenting on here are idiots and are probably like twelve years old. I tried to go to the race, not to watch cars go around in circles, but for the experience and the atmosphere (people watching). We did predict traffic problems thats why we left 6 1/2 hours before the race to get there. I-71 was not the problem it was that fact that once you got there parking was non existent. Apparently when they added on to make it hold 108,000 people instead of 66,000 they forgot to add any parking spots.

  55. ummm
    12:35 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    Anyone complaining about not enough parking places just don’t know anything about these kind of events. When hosting a huge event like this, people rent yards out for parking. Last time I was in Lexington to see UK, there were people paying to park in yards. It’s a common theme in sporting events. Also, I can see why some are upset with traffic being so bad and not getting there in time. But why complain about how long it took to leave. You go somewhere with 100,000 people and expect not to have a traffic jam leaving. Also, when I was there their were food and drink vendors.

  56. UK2010
    12:39 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    I left at 10:30 and had no problems getting there or leaving, you have to use some back roads and everything is fine. I think there were a lot of uneducated spectators at this event that waited until right before the event to get to the track like you would do for most other events. It’s a NASCAR race, it’s suppose to be an all day affair, not just to see the show. Show up early, check out the sites and mingle with the crowd, have some drinks and food. The parking still needs to be looked at, you can’t run out of parking and that was the sole reason for the backups, they couldn’t park fast enough. Still I doubt that they will ever have 120,000 plus come to this event again, not because of the traffic just because it’s no longer the first race in history. Bottom line, people should have listened to what they were saying if you weren’t use to going to a race and left early. Leaving at 1 and planning on getting there 3 ours prior to the race isn’t early.

  57. UK2010
    12:42 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    BTW there was national guard there, they were all over the race track, couldn’t have missed them. Maybe their camo made it tough for them to be seen…… but I seen several of them.

  58. Bret Fox
    4:16 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    The State of Kentucky, the Government in Frankfort and everyone involved should be ashamed not only for the mess on I71 but for the treatment of fans from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and our visitors, but also how unprepared they are for a major sporting event in this state. This track was open in 2000 and wanted a NASCAR Race from the start. Don’t you think they would be better prepared? I drove from London the night before to pick my Father up in Louisville. A 68 mile drive to the speedway from my parents home turned out to be a nightmare. Leaving at 1pm, sitting in traffic on I71 for 6 hours then on the grounds in traffic for 2 there was no way to make the race. No parking, not being prepared made it a big giant mess. We don’t deserve to have the Race …we had 10 years to work on it, how is a year from now going to be any different?

  59. Buckets
    5:44 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    That’s what they get for going to a dumb redneck NASCAR race.

  60. Tim Doyle
    5:46 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    USE SIMPLE ENGLISH – plain and simple there was no oversight on NASCAR’s part for the race. Mr. Smith did nothing for the fans but gouge money from them. Sad that this happened to many people as it is very apparent the in no shape or fashion was the track and those running it even REMOTELY PREPARED for a race of this size.

  61. Cat fan in TN
    6:21 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    traffic was probably bad because rednecks from TN drove up to watch the race…worst drivers on the planet live in TN. It’s not even close either. And yes, Nascar sucks balls!

  62. stuart
    7:35 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    wow nice driver yuo guys got in Cope finished 25th hahahaha….what happened to i know cope will win this race…he’s a bum just face it and get your money back he will never find the winners circle again

  63. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    8:09 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    Drive fast and turn left! YEEEEE HAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. ink
    8:11 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    i won !

  65. cdc_uky
    8:34 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    58 hit the nail on the head. Granted, NASCAR does suck. But, if an event can draw 100,000 people to Sparta KY, then we should be prepared for it. This was a major opportunity for the state and it was wasted.

  66. Rex
    8:44 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    Got there at 10:00 and had zero problems. There’s a reason we left at 7:30 in the morning. It’s not rocket science.

  67. michael scarn
    8:55 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    tTook 6 hours to get to the track from winchester. parking was chaos when we got there so we took advantage of it and ended up getting directed to the parking lot in the infield RIGHT behind pit row (no pass, nobody checked or charged us to park there!). we walked right into the “hot pass” area without passes and made it to our seats right before the green flag (no one ever checked/scanned our tickets). after the race, i stood right beside victory lane, not 50 feet from kyle busch and nearly got sprayed by the champagne! i’d say it was worth the wait.

  68. Big Cuz
    9:54 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    First off 58 did not hit it on the head… This event isn’t a state ran event! This is putting $$ in SMI’s pocket! The issue with the speedway does not belong to our state. They reap the benefits they(SMI) are the ones responsable! Seond… I’ve been to this track on a couple occasions, the parking sucked then also. A much smaller event had the same types of issues. The state roads are not the problem, it’s the way into the parking. Third thing… I’m not a NASCAR fan at all, never been have no desire to go. But if I were to go to this venue for a race, then I’m smart enough to leave my house way early to get there! Like I said I wasn’t there, wasn’t going there, I still have a complaint. I have to drive toward Warsaw which is over the hill from the track… A normal 15 minute drive home after work took me 30 minutes. I had to follow behind a bunch of nascar loving Buckeyes doing 35mph in a 55.

  69. big tim
    10:02 am July 11, 2011 Permalink

    i left early you should leave early but they will get it fixed i heard the same thing happened at texas motor speedway but it dont happen now i had a great time

  70. Irony
    6:23 pm July 11, 2011 Permalink

    We can all thank Gov. Paul Patton for building hometown Pikeville 4 lanes of highway in all directions but leaving only 2 lanes between Louisville and Cincinnati. Time to start reading Paul Coomes and letting the big cities invest their tax money for their own infrastructure.

  71. Daniel
    8:19 pm July 11, 2011 Permalink

    There would have been a lot more room to park if everyone didn’t drive a ridiculously huge pickup truck.

  72. 1fan
    8:22 pm July 11, 2011 Permalink

    43) Seriously? I have never even been to a race and I know that many of the tracks in NASCAR are as you say “in the sticks”. Dont commenet if you dont know what your talking about.