Drivers Bid Farewell to Old Track at Speedway

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Drivers raced around the original track at Kansas Speedway for the last time on Sunday. Drivers and fans have developed a relationship of sorts with the old track and they're bidding it a fond farewell.

Fans at Kansas Speedway are walking down memory lane and reminiscing about races gone by.

"I remember Jeff Gordon winning the first two races and also Tony Stewart ran out of gas going into turn two and coasted all the way into the victory," said Steve Madden.

The track has taken on a life of its own for NASCAR'S biggest fans. Their up close and personal relationship with the track is making it into scrapbooks and maybe even baby books. That's one reason they're having such a hard time saying goodbye.

Officials at Kansas Speedway say the track has to go. You may tend to agree with them when you see what inspectors found on the track when they were walking it Friday night.

"If a tire had caught if something had happened it could have gone through a radiator or windshield," said Pat Warren, Kansas Speedway President.

Check out pictures from Kansas Speedway here.

After 11 years, the tender love story between these fans and the 1.5 mile track is breaking up. Drives like Bobby Labonte are sad to see the relationship end just when the track was becoming what he calls "mature."

"It's a fun track to race on," said Labonte. "Whenever you have a surface that has given up a lot of grip over the years it makes for a lot better racing in a lot of ways."

Labonte and other drivers and engineers know the old track well. They've invested years getting to know every bump and bend, nook and cranny. Now it's over.

"It's never completely fun to start again but it's a new challenge for our team," said Chevy engineer Alba Colon.

The new track will be done in time for the next race in October.

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