The fans have spoken: Twitter rumblings from Kentucky Speedway

The stands were packed but not all fans made it inside.
Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images for NASCAR

Kentucky Speedway had their long-awaited Sprint Cup debut Saturday, but the race is not what will go down in history books. Unfortunately it will be be the whole traffic debacle, aka "Carmageddon."

Fans, dignitaries and even drivers and crew members were stuck in traffic with turtles passing them by ... heck I think from the tweets I have read, the turtles could have lapped them if it were a race. At one point, Interstate 71 (the main thoroughfare to the track) was backed up as much as 20 miles.

Drivers like Denny Hamlin were stuck, afraid of missing the drivers meeting, and he tweeted:

@dennyhamlin :Good news bad news/ bad news is I'm prolly not gonna make the drivers meeting in 3 hrs because I'm in this traffic with everyone else

And he continued to tweet while in traffic:

@dennyhamlin: 20 bucks to the first of my followers to find me In traffic. Will send pic to confirm

No word on if a lucky fan found him or not.

But the part of the story that is heartbreaking is the fans who paid their hard-earned money to attend  Saturday's race, never to make it in. 

Some fans who finally did make it to the track, well into the racing, were turned away due to lack of parking. Here's one fan who tweeted her experience:

NASCAR tix - $170. 5 hours of traffic - $50 gas. Turned away due to no parking when you get there. -  

Here are some tweets from last night:

KahneFrancis4 :@ttiana: 6hrs to and from kyspeedway. We live only 10 miles away.

CrizzleColts: @MarkNagi @KySpeedway And that is generous. Took us 7 hours to go 52 miles to exit 55. Made it there at lap 132, turned around and left.

@tomjensen100 (Editor-in-chief for This is the first NASCAR race ever with 140,000 start and park cars. #carmageddon

Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger did issue a statement via Twitter and Facebook during the race. It said:

“We’ve had an overwhelming response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Quaker State 400.” We know we had challenges related to traffic. We’re already planning improvements and looking forward to a much better situation for next year’s event.”

In his post-race press conference, Jimmie Johnson took the time to address the traffic issues and said, "It's disappointing. I mean, the SMI group knows racetracks and does a very good job at all the racetracks they own. It's unfortunate we were unable to look ahead and see where these potential problems were." He later took to his Twitter account and said:


On a side note, I'm sorry to hear about the traffic troubles so many fans delt with...
Thx 2 all the great fans 4 coming out tonight. I apologize on behalf of our sport 4 all the traffic problems, It was unexceptable bullshit!

It was pointed out by many as I followed along on Twitter that this was not a NASCAR issue, but it was a track issue; don’t be angry at the sport for this. Kentucky Speedway is bound to make changes. Last night will be a learning experience, although it is too late for those who sat in the lines and missed the race.

NASCAR By the Numbers and In the Rearview Mirror (looking back at NASCAR's history) are Amanda's two weekly columns with Skirts and Scuffs, but as an Associate Editor her duties are limitless. Amanda also strives to provide exclusive interviews for the readers of Skirts and Scuffs. To read her past columns and interviews click here. Feel free to contact Amanda via Twitter.
The fans have spoken: Twitter rumblings from Kentucky Speedway The fans have spoken: Twitter rumblings from Kentucky Speedway Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, July 10, 2011 Rating: 5