How Much Is Ford Paying Kentucky Speedway? [Fact Checked!]

It’s been an eventful few weeks for Ford fans in the Bluegrass State. Not only did they see their favorite car manufacturer take gold in the most recent Formula One U.S. Grand Prix, but they also witnessed one of their favorite racing venues make a surprising turn. After hosting several NASCAR races, most notably the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, the doors opened for an event many believed could become a permanent fixture on the sport’s calendar.

The 2019 Kentucky Derby was a race to remember for those in attendance. Reigning Triple Crown champion Always Believe captured the imagination of race fans with a come-from-behind victory in what would become one of the most famous upsets in sports history. The win was particularly stunning as it came less than a month after the horse ran away with the Belmont Stakes.

It was an incredible story, made even more incredible by the fact that Always Believe had never won a race prior to his 2019 Kentucky Derby run. That didn’t stop race fans from lining up to the tune of 40,000 strong to watch one of the most exciting races ever. Thanks in part to a heavy rain delay that kept the crowd entertained, the Kentucky Derby proved to be a memorable event for Ford fans.

The following day, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted the Indianapolis 500, an event many consider to be the Super Bowl of racing. This year’s edition turned out to be one of the closest and most competitive races in recent memory. Coming from behind to win the race was a familiar story as 20 years ago, Alain Prost, then driving for Ferrari, won the same race by taking advantage of a late-race crash by Patrick Byrne, driving for Michael Schumacher’s Benetton team. This time around, however, it was Scott Dixon driving for Mercedes Benz who found a wayward ballast pot, giving him an extra boost of speed as he cruised to victory.

The excitement of these two consecutive days of racing left many fans wondering whether Ford would continue to support Kentucky Speedway after this year’s event, considering their primary focus now shifts to Indy, where they have four other venues – including the brand new Indianapolis Motor Speedway – with which they could continue to host races.

What Will The Future Of The Kentucky Derby And Indy 500 Be For Ford And Other Manufacturers?

With the uncertainty surrounding the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, much of society has taken a backseat to the health and well-being of its residents. As businesses and schools throughout the world have closed their doors, so have most sporting events. Not so in the case of NASCAR, as the premier racing series has decided to push pause on their racing schedule, deferring all but one race, the Daytona 500, which was originally scheduled for February 11. Although sporting events can and will return, in the meantime, NASCAR has decided to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, as well as those who have suffered as a result of social distancing.

Could The Death Of Race Car Drivers Be The End Of An Era?

Although NASCAR has decided to pause their season, another form of racing has decided to go all-out. IndyCar, the premier series of open-wheel cars, has decided to continue racing at the highest level, expanding their schedule from five to 12 races, with the most prominent series, including the Indianapolis 500, moving to a fall schedule to ensure there is at least some race action during the traditionally quieter summer months. This season’s edition of the prestigious Indy 500 will be the last event held at the current venue, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the track is due for a massive renovation and expansion that will put an end to that particular race.

Considering the recent passing of two legendary drivers, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, at the age of 50 and 46, respectively, it’s clear these events meant a lot to the people who watched them and to the people who participated in them. Although safety measures have been taken to ensure the longevity of these events, as well as other forms of motorsport, it’s clear many fans are craving some type of closure to the 2019 season, especially in the case of the Indianapolis 500, a race many consider to be the Super Bowl of motorsport.

Will Ford continue to support Kentucky Speedway, or will the door be shut for good? We’ll have to wait and see, but until then, at least we can look back on one of the most exciting years in recent memory and know that for Ford, as well as the many others who participated in these events, it was all for charity and good fun. Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to move on to the next chapter.

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