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19th NASCAR Event Takes Place This Weekend In Sparta

Timothy D. Easley
/
AP
Martin Truex Jr. does a burnout following his victory in the NASCAR Cup auto race at Kentucky Speedway, Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Sparta, Ky.

For many of the Commonwealth’s NASCAR racing fans, the annual weekend of racing at Kentucky Motor Speedway got off to a good start last night.

Louisville native Ben Rhodes won his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Speedway Director of Communications Tim Bray says Rhodes’ win at the Sparta track was historic. “First time that we’ve ever had someone from the Bluegrass State win here in a national series at Kentucky,” he says. 

Now in its 19th year of racing, it's become a three day event. It began in 2000 with a truck series race. On tap Friday is the Xfinity series race and then the Sprint Cup Series event Saturday evening. Bray says the fabric of the mile-and-a-half track was changed three years ago with 17 degrees of banking on the south end.

He says amenities have been added in recent years such as interactive displays and games and DJ music for the college crowd.

And the massive traffic jam in 2011 resulted in additional lanes and parking areas. Bray says many fans come and set up camp early in the race week.

This story comes from partner station WEKU. For more stories like this, visit weku.fm now

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.