Pre-race events draw crowds to small towns

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by Maggie Ruper

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 11:30 PM

(WHAS11) -- Races start on Thursday at the Kentucky Speedway, but pre-race events are already underway. In nearby Carrollton, city officials held Race Fest now in its second year.

"When they finally got the Sprint Cup at the racetrack we were trying to figure out a way we could draw some of the traffic to Carrollton," Mayor Gene McMurry said.

One local NASCAR enthusiast loves the atmosphere NASCAR brings to the area.

"Oh man, I love it! I love getting here to this small town and with a NASCAR track up the road, you can't beat it," Eddie Hewitt said.

At the event, there was food, fun and a rising star. Ben Rhodes, 15, of Louisville is a race car driver just one step away from the big leagues.

"I'd like to eventually get to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. We've got a good shot now with the path that we're on. We're gonna keep giving it our best shot, keep working hard and see where we end up," Rhodes said.

Meantime, at the track, preps are underway and with triple digit temperatures expected the next few days part of the focus is staying cool.

"We're racing at night, and so it will be a lot cooler at night," Tim Bray, Kentucky Speedway spokesperson, said.

Track officials say for practices during the day there will be shaded areas and coolers are now allowed in the grandstand.
 

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