Friday, July 8, 2011

Elliot Sadler on Pole for NASCAR Nationwide Race at Kentucky Speedway

Crews patiently waited out rain delays at Kentucky Speedway
It's been a topsy turvy day at Kentucky Speedway today as rains hit prior to the final Sprint Cup practice but then came again during Spring Cup qualifying after only 22 drivers had a chance to qualify. The Nationwide qualifying went off without a hitch and Elliot Sadler will lead the field tonight once the track gets dry again. The brief shower seems to have cleared the area and as I sit here in the media center, I can hear the jet dryers on track trying to get the track ready for the Feed the Children 300.

Qualified NASCAR Nationwide Series cars wait in impound area
It's been an eventful day for me as well, as I really had to hustle to get here this morning for the photo meeting but I made it and have been busy all day. The track has undergone a number of changes since I was here last year for the Indycar race. Gone is the grassy infield, replaced by acres of gravel and pavement for the new motor home parking areas. The area along the inside wall in Turn 1 is very narrow and is extremely close to the racing surface now. There's not much room to shoot there now and it is a "hot" area for safety vehicles to travel. Turn 3 is pretty much inaccessible with large new catch fencing on the inside of the track but Turn 4 is still pretty wide open. The good news is I have a hot pit pass so I have been able to get in the garage area for driver pictures and will be able to go on pit road this weekend during the races. I am very excited about that, as even the pit lane here is new - wider and curved like the front stretch. I will not be able to get to the outside fence holes to shoot so that is somewhat disappointing, but it looks like NASCAR and the Kentucky Speedway officials have done a great job getting this place ready for their first ever Sprint Cup weekend. I am glad to be here and will have more later as time allows. Getting out of here tonight and tomorrow night could be a real treat!

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