The founders of Kentucky Speedway have decided not to pursue any remaining legal options in their antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR, setting up the opportunity for new owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. to realign a Sprint Cup race to the 1.5-mile oval in 2011.
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favour of NASCAR and sister company International Speedway Corp. in the antitrust lawsuit brought by the track's former owners.
The founders of Kentucky Speedway had only two potential appeals left: They could have asked for a hearing in front of all of the 24 appeals court judges, and they could have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Both avenues were considered long shots.
NASCAR has said that it would not consider a realignment request until the case is resolved. It now is resolved (in NASCAR's favour), and the earliest a Cup race could be at the track is 2011.
The founders included Jerry Carroll as well as businessman Richard Duchossois, a board member of Churchill Downs Inc.; Cintas Corp. chairman Richard Farmer; and executives at Outback Steakhouse.
"On behalf of the original partners of Kentucky Speedway, I have informed our attorneys we will not pursue any remaining appeals in the case," Carroll said in a statement. "While we still believe in the merits of the case, it is time to accept the decision of the courts and move on.
"I appreciate the continuing opportunity to assist and consult with (SMI Chairman) Bruton Smith, Gov. Steve Beshear and our dedicated corporate partners to realise our shared dream of bringing a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to Kentucky."
SMI has not announced which track it would take a race from. It has two races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway while it has one race each at Infineon Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.