Thursday, May 22, 2008 | 12:31 p.m.
Bruton Smith’s announcement today that he has added Kentucky Speedway to his Speedway Motorsports Inc. portfolio might be the first move in what could lead to Las Vegas Motor Speedway landing a second annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
The hot rumor sweeping NASCAR Nation today has Smith also purchasing Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., closing the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track and moving one of its Cup dates to Kentucky Speedway and the other to LVMS.
Smith has been seeking a second annual Cup race for LVMS since he purchased the facility in 1998. NASCAR officials repeatedly have said they would not award the track another race but that Smith could move a date from one of his other tracks if he wished.
Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile oval in Sparta, currently hosts a NASCAR Nationwide Series race and a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. Smith isn’t in the habit of purchasing tracks that don’t host a NASCAR Cup race.
Smith has been rumored to have had his eye on Pocono Raceway for at least the past 10 years but hasn’t been able to come to terms with the Mattioli family, which owns the track.
The purchase of Kentucky Speedway now gives Smith’s SMI eight tracks that host a total of 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup points races, plus the annual all-star race.