If you ask some of the drivers what their opinions are about NASCAR racing at Kentucky Speedway before the race this weekend many of them might have said that it’s fun to race on the track.
Drivers say that the Kentucky date on the schedule forces drivers, teams, and car builders to pull every trick out of their bag in order to make a car run well on what is commonly called the Roughest Track in Racing. If you ask Dale Earnhardt Jr his opinion will be a little less loving.
"It just sucks, man," Earnhardt said of the rough front stretch. "God almighty. It's so brutal. It's just terrible, man. And I hate it for the speedway, because they just got their date (in 2011). But man, it's the most miserable thing out there. Ain't nothing about that I want to do over again. I'm glad it's over."
Earnhardt made his comments shortly after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Sparta Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night to USA Today sports reporter Tom Groeschen. Earnhardt ended up having an amazing night all things considered. The driver, often named the most popular in NASCAR, fought hard for a fifth place finish on Saturday night under the lights. He had started the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in the 29th spot.
Several drivers struggled to keep their cars under control during portions of the race which saw the caution flag wave six times for a total of 34 laps. The bumpy ride did allow for some cars to take advantage of other drivers' mistakes which opened up opportunities for passing. The race lead changed hands 12 times with three different drivers.
Earnhardt was not the only driver in the race to comment on the track conditions at the speedway. Kyle Busch made similar comments and even offered up a few suggestions to the track's front office on what should be done. His remarks came during post-race interviews. Busch was one of three drivers to lead the race. The other two drivers that led laps were race winner Brad Keselowski and his Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano.
"If you fix the start-finish line, just pave the straightaway there where it's the roughest, I think we'd all be very grateful," Busch said about the rough surface of the track.
According to the report by USA Today track officials were looking at any possible repairs to the track surface to be evaluated after the season was over. The facility, located in Sparta, Kentucky, has been hosting NASCAR and ARCA Racing series races since it opened in 2000.
Since then major improvements in parking, infrastructure, fan areas, garage areas, and more have taken place but the racing surface has remained the same.