SPARTA, Ky. - Kentucky Speedway officials announced their plan Monday to compensate fans that didn't get to see Saturday's Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup race because of traffic and parking problems.
"The message that I have for the fans is that we apologize," said General Manager Mark Simendinger. "We take full responsibility for it."
Fans unable to see the race will have their tickets honored at any remaining 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at a Speedway Motorsports facility or the 2012 Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway.
Kentucky Speedway is owned by Speedway Motorsports.
The exchange is good for the following events.
- July 17 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
- August 27 – Bristol Motor Speedway
- September 4 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
- September 25 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway
- October 15 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
- November 6 – Texas Motor Speedway
- 20102 – Kentucky Speedway
The race sold out all 107,000 available seats, making it the largest sporting event ever in Greater Cincinnati.
Traffic was bumper-to-bumper on Interstate 71 Saturday as drivers tried to get to the track, but Simendinger said the Speedway ran out of parking spots.
"A lot of that traffic that backed up on the Interstate was because we weren't getting people in here and that falls on us," he said. "That's our problem."
The race began at 7:45 p.m., but at that time there still were hundreds of vehicles and fans on foot trying to get to the Speedway.
Many got to their seats with the race half-over. Some gave up and went home. Others were turned away because there was no place to park.
"If I could turn the clock back and take back their bad experience, believe me I would, but that's not an option at this point," Simendinger said. "We're going to make it right and then we're going to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again."
Simendinger said everything is on the table for discussion at this point.
"We need more parking fields. We need more parking attendants," he said. "We need more and better communications. We need to probably add more bus service."