SPARTA — Bruton Smith said Saturday he is "working diligently" to bring a Sprint Cup race to Kentucky Speedway.
However, the Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO said his company has not yet asked NASCAR for permission to move a Cup race to Kentucky for 2011.
Speaking before the NASCAR Nationwide Series Meijer 300 Presented by Ritz, Smith would not say whether it was already too late to move a Sprint Cup date to the commonwealth for next season.
"I don't know that it's too late," said Smith, whose company bought Kentucky Speedway from the original Jerry Carroll-led ownership group. "But there are so many things that would have to be done to get to that point."
Smith again criticized the length of the anti-trust litigation that the former Speedway owners brought against NASCAR. That case ended earlier this year.
"Had it been resolved many months ago, we would have had an answer (on a Cup race) you're looking for today," Smith said.
Smith said he wished NASCAR would simply assign a Cup race to Kentucky Speedway, but acknowledged that would not happen. So he said he will have to move a date from another racetrack that he owns.
SMI owns seven racetracks that control 11 Cup dates. Much of the speculation has focused on the possibility that one of the two Cup dates at Atlanta Motor Speedway could be moved to the Sparta track.
Asked if he knew from where he would get a Cup date for Kentucky, Smith said "Almost. Isn't that a good answer?"
When and if a Cup race comes to Kentucky, Smith said he envisions a number of upgrades to the Speedway. Included were a revamped garage area and the addition of as many as 50,000 seats.
Smith said the engineering that would be needed for such projects has already been done.
"It may sound like that stuff would take a lot of time," Smith said, "but when we do something, we don't take forever to do it."