Report: Kansas to get 2nd Cup race
TOPEKA, Kan. -- A person familiar with the 2011 NASCAR schedule said Friday that Kansas Speedway will get a second race next year.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the schedule hasn't been released. A formal announcement regarding a second Sprint Cup date at Kansas Speedway may come as soon as next week.
A public schedule released Friday for Kansas Lt. Gov. Troy Findley notes that he plans to give remarks regarding a second race during a media event Tuesday at the 1.5-mile speedway in Kansas City, Kan.
A spokeswoman for the governor's office declined to give more details about Tuesday's event.
"We really can't confirm that that's the case," spokeswoman Berry Holston said.
Speedway president Pat Warren said the track was still working with NASCAR officials but that no media events were planned regarding a second date.
"Nothing is final. We're confident things will work out," Warren said.
News of a second race at Kansas follows a NASCAR announcement this week that Atlanta was losing one of its two races in 2011. The track has held two NASCAR events every year since 1960. A source told AP that Kentucky, like Atlanta, is owned by Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc., and will get a race in 2011.
Securing a second Sprint Cup race fulfills a key promise developers of a casino at the speedway made when they sought approval from the state for their $521 million project. They cleared the last regulatory hurdle in February and the casino is expected to open early in 2012.
International Speedway Corp., the track's parent, and Penn National Gaming Inc. of Wyomissing, Pa., are partners in the venture. They'll build and the casino for the Kansas Lottery, which will own the rights to the gambling and the gambling equipment -- and claim a share of the revenues.
The casino developers also promised to build a road course in the current track's infield as a condition of winning the management contract.
Jeff Boerger, president of the casino venture, declined to confirm the second date for Kansas, but said any news about another race for Kansas City "would be good news."
A second race date would be a financial boon to the Kansas economy, which has already seen significant development near the speedway property in the past decade. The area is home to a minor league baseball team and Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards are constructing an 18,000-seat stadium within earshot of the speedway. The stadium opens in 2011.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press