Moving beyond Speedway snafus

A week is a long time when you're engaged in damage control.

That's why owners of Kentucky Speedway were wise to announce Monday some compensation for as many as 20,000 fans who missed Saturday's Sprint Cup race because of traffic and parking snafus.

Track officials had said it would take a week to decide.

Yet, it didn't take a day for the "Refund the Kentucky Speedway Fans" Facebook page to go up or for other tracks to launch promotions aimed at the disgruntled.

Instead of refunds, Speedway Motor Sports will honor unused tickets at Sprint Cup races at other tracks or at the 2012 Quaker State 400 race here.

Whether this is enough to quell fan outrage remains to be seen. But it was clear that more was needed than, "We'll do better next time."

For many fans, there may not be a next time. Being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 71 for hours has a way of souring an experience. Even the stock car drivers told track officials to get transportation issues under control before making needed improvements to the track.

One would think state transportation officials and a business dealing with cars would not be caught flat-footed on traffic flow.

The situation is already becoming a political issue in the governor's race. And there's talk about the need for a major highway project to avoid the problems next year. But the state ought to also consult planners for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games about how to use buses and shuttles.

Still, Saturday's race attracted 100,000 fans and will likely prove an economic boost for the state.

Any new endeavor brings a host of lessons to learn. Some are just learned the really hard way.