Lawsuit dropped; track wants Cup race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The former owners of Kentucky Speedway have dropped their antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR.

Attorneys for the former ownership group decided not to appeal their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wednesday was the deadline to mail an appeal request to the court.

Both the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected claims by the former owners that NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation violated federal antitrust laws by working with other tracks to keep the 1.5-mile tri-oval in northern Kentucky from getting a coveted Sprint Cup race.

Former majority owner Jerry Carroll said Friday the matter was closed and he was optimistic that it opens the door for new owners Speedway Motorsports Inc. to finally bring a Cup race to the track.

"If it means the end of that lawsuit, that's great," said Eddie Gossage, president of SMI-owned Texas Motor Speedway. "I don't know what that means for Kentucky, but I sure know that's a great place where NASCAR should be racing."

SMI chairman Bruton Smith said last year he was prepared to move a race from one of his other facilities to Kentucky should the lawsuit be resolved. Now that he can move forward and petition NASCAR for a date at Kentucky, Gossage said his boss has not discussed his plans.

"Where is that race going to come from? That's not something Bruton has shared," Gossage said.