Quaker State 400

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In a sport always looking to push the agenda, the 2012 Sprint Cup goes to a place in need of change.

Kentucky Speedway wanted to host a Sprint Cup race for ten years. After a series of lawsuits and sales, fans in Kentucky and Ohio finally got their  wish. But last year’s race was a total dud. Traffic prevented thousands from ever getting to the track, and those folks didn’t miss much action.

Even though Kentucky is a new track on the Sprint Cup, there are some guiding principles. The 1.5 mile Tri-Oval reminds some of Kansas, where NASCAR has seen growing success. Others say the banking reminds then more of Auto Club Speedway, even though it’s a longer track.

Nationwide teams have run at Kentucky for a handful of years now, which some believe will give certain teams (Roush Fenway) an advantage. Plus, Kentucky got quite the workout when testing bans occurred at the Sprint Cup level. So teams aren’t going in blind. But they’re not going in with 20/20 vision.

Even though this is considered a cookie-cutter track, there has been very little cookie-cutter action this season. Expect literal and figurative fireworks Saturday night.

Now some fun facts to impress your friends with, courtesy of the track’s pretty solid website, as TNT provides race coverage Saturday night.

  • The frontstretch is 1,662 feet with eight degrees of banking.
  • The backstretch is 1,600 feet with four degrees of banking.
  • The turns all have fourteen degrees of banking.
  • The grandstand seats 107,000 people.
  • Last year, every ticket was sold.
  • This year, tickete are available. T
  • The track is built on 850 acres of land in Sparta, Kentucky.
  • They need all 850 acres; there’s enough space to park 30,000 cars.
  • Let’s hope the traffic will allow people to park in those spaces.
  • Kyle Busch won the race last year.
  • For those wondering, you’re not allowed to bring aerosol cans, beach balls, tri pods, knives or handcuffs.