Kansas Speedway Changes Mean More to See for NASCAR Fans
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A new track surface means an additional two days of activities for NASCAR fans at Kansas Speedway as drivers prepare for this weekend’s Kansas Lottery 300 and Hollywood Casino 400.
Rain on Wednesday put a damper on testing out the new track surface at the repaved speedway for drivers, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of fans like Jim Rodman, who says that the smaller crowds on rainy days just makes for better opportunities to get autographs.
“The economic impact on the city is tremendous when there’s a Sprint Cup race here in town, since our Chiefs aren’t doing that good,” said Rodman.
During race weeks, the staff at Kansas Speedway swells from 35 to nearly 3,500. A new asphalt surface changes the way cars handle, and steeper banking at the track means that teams will have to adjust how they configure their cars.
Testing over the next two days will allow fans to see all 43 contestants make those changes on the track in a race-like atmosphere.
“For the community, the $360 million of economic impact that we have every year, this year it will be even greater because we have really two extra days of activity on track,” said Kansas Speedway president Pat Warren. “And again it’s not like adding another race but it is adding more daysin the city with people spending money on restaurants, hotels and everything else they do.”
Fans attending practice over the next few days are being asked to bring a contribution for the March of Dimes or Bikers for Babies.
Because of the rain, practice time could be rescheduled at night under the lights – which would be a first for Sprint Cup drivers at the speedway. Fans like Rodman say that they are eager to see how the changes affect racing at the speedway.
“The big upside is there will be better competition and there will be more than just one group so there will be a lot more passing,” said Rodman.