Before and since the completion of the Kentucky Speedway in June of 2000, the owners of the track have attempted to get a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, which is the highest level of competition in the sport. Before the track opened, track personnel were successful in securing Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA), Indy Racing League (IRL), and a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The Sprint Cup series race could not be secured prior to 2011. The previous owners filed a lawsuit against NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation alleging violation of the Sherman Act in the conspiracy in restraint of trade and attempting to create a monopoly. (Kentucky Speedway v. NASCAR and ISC, 2008) The federal court dismissed the case with prejudice in favor of NASCAR & ISC. In 2008, Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI), purchased the track.
SMI immediately began to update the track to accommodate the magnitude of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Smith estimated spending in excess of 100 million dollars bringing the track up to expectations and standards of Sprint Cup race events (Gibson, Smith, et.al., 2011). Additionally, the state of Kentucky estimates that prior to the Sprint Cup race in July of 2011 it had spent several million dollars expanding interstate 71 in both directions in order to handle the additional inflow of traffic on race day. These investments inspired the researchers to evaluate impacts of fan spending on the local economy as well as local, state and federal taxes.
Upright, Paula; Smith, Darren; Larson, Bruce; and Gibson, Fred
"NASCAR and the Examination of the Impact of Fan Spending on Sparta Kentucky: A Predictive Study,"
International Journal of Motorsport Management:
Vol. 1, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholar.wssu.edu/ijmm/vol1/iss1/3