Kansas Speedway 2006 Rewind
As the 2006 racing season winds down and teams and fans start looking towards to 2007, let's revisit the thrilling action at Kansas Speedway in 2006.
The excitement started in April with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne starting his new "job" in the Kansas Speedway ticket office (he "resigned" after only an hour). Kahne got a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to sell tickets at Kansas Speedway and spent some time on the phone with ticket buyers. He also autographed all of the tickets he sold while he was "working."
The racing action kicked off on another hot July weekend - but three drivers didn't mind the heat as they found their way to victory lane.
Sam Hornish Jr. celebrated his 27th birthday with a visit to victory lane after breaking free from defending IRL champion Dan Wheldon with only a half-lap remaining. It marked the first open-wheel victory by Penske Racing at Kansas Speedway (NASCAR driver Ryan Newman captured the first Penske Racing victory at Kansas in 2003).
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Terry Cook struggled early, going a lap down only a few laps into the race. With fast pit stops and a couple of lucky breaks, Cook broke his 94-race winless streak with a visit to victory lane. Ford dominated the day with drivers Rick Crawford (second) and Australian Marcos Ambrose (third) rounding out the top three. After the Craftsman Truck Series race, eight-time ARCA Re/Max champion Frank Kimmel visited victory lane, becoming the first driver to visit Kansas' victory lane three times.
Between race weekends, Kansas Speedway announced that the IRL IndyCar Series weekend would move to April from its traditional July date.
In September, fans were treated to three more races. Kevin Harvick continued his domination of the NASCAR Busch Series on his way to winning the 2006 title. After the NASCAR Busch Series race, USAC crowned their champion Bud Kaeding. While Aaron Pierce visited victory lane as the race winner, all eyes were on the championship chase between Kaeding and Brian Tyler. With Tyler having to retire from the race early due to overheating, Kaeding secured the title with a fourth-place finish.
Wrapping up the racing action at Kansas Speedway was the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on Oct. 1 with Jackie Joyner-Kersee and George Lopez on hand to give the command, "Drivers, start your engines." With local driver Clint Bowyer leading several times throughout the afternoon, area fans were hoping to see Bowyer visit victory lane for the first time at Kansas. Tony Stewart proved too strong though, and after running out of fuel in turn two, he coasted to victory for the first time at Kansas Speedway.
In November, Kansas Speedway announced that fans would be able to bring their own food and beverages (in a 6x6x12-inch cooler) inside the track. No glass containers are permitted, though. Also, parking will continue to be free at Kansas Speedway.
If you're ready to experience an exhilarating season of racing at Kansas Speedway, RPM and P.A.S.S season tickets go on sale Dec. 2 and are available by calling 866-460-RACE or on our website. Fans get five great races with RPM and P.A.S.S tickets - the Kansas Lottery Indy 300 (IRL IndyCar Series) and the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) in April, and the Kansas 400 (NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series), the Yellow Transportation 300 (NASCAR Busch Series) and the kansasspeedway.com 100 (USAC) races in September.