Archive for Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Speedway roars into second season

May 29, 2002

Sounds of motors will fill Kansas Speedway once again when the racing season starts June 1.

It appears that the track's second season should be as successful as the first.

Of eight events scheduled this summer, five are sold out.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series BPU 200 and NASCAR Winston West Series 150 on June 1 and the Truxpo Truck Tour are the only events with tickets still remaining.

The other six events the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 on July 6, the Indy Racing League Ameristar Casino Indy 200 and Infiniti Pro Series on July 7, the NASCAR Busch Series Mr. Goodcents 300 on Sept. 28 and the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Protection One 400 on Sept. 29 are all sold out.

The 75,000-seat speedway is expected to draw large crowds for all of its events. That should also produce increased traffic during the summer season.

Leavenworth County Sheriff Herb Nye said there were two things motorists could do to combat the expected traffic increase accompanying the races.

"Be courteous and patient," Nye said. "We always ask people to do that."

Nye, though, said the racing crowds shouldn't cause many problems.

"We're just going to treat it like the last races we've had," Nye said. "We'll have people out, but we're not doing anything special for it."

The sheriff is concerned about what construction on Parallel Road could do to traffic flow during the races.

For racing fans, Nye hopes they arrive early to avoid traffic problems.

"That could cause a real bottleneck on 24-40," Nye said.

In Tonganoxie, police chief Ken Carpenter doesn't anticipate any traffic problems during the racing season.

"We may have to help direct traffic," Carpenter said. "Last year the signal light handled it without us assisting."

The stoplight intersection at K-16 and U.S. Highway 24-40 in Tonganoxie will undergo construction later this summer.

The project should be bid on June 17, said Shane Krull, city administrator.

"After that I would guestimate the earliest that they would start would be 45 days," Krull said.

An August or September start time would occur before the Sept. 28 and 29 races.

Krull expected one-lane traffic during the construction.

Carpenter, though, didn't predict any major difficulties.

"We're going to have probably one additional car on duty during the events with accidents or disturbances, but I don't' foresee any problems," the Tonganoxie police chief said.

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