From Alan Lytle and Mark Heyne, Kentucky Public Radio
It promises to be an especially hot, and potentially dangerous, NASCAR weekend at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, but the medical director for UK HealthCare’s Good Samaritan Emergency Department says he will have a team of physicians stationed around the track to treat anyone suffering from heat-related conditions.
Dr. Ryan Stanton says the temperature at a racetrack is typically higher than the surrounding area.
“It’s a lot of exposure to heat, there’s a lot of asphalt, there’s a lot of concrete, there’s a lot of cars going around, so the heat is a big issue; especially when you are talking about if you bring alcohol into the mix as well…it promotes dehydration and heat-related illness. And so, about 40 to 50 percent of the cases we see on an average year are for heat-related illnesses,” he said.
And with temperatures possibly soaring above the century mark, Dr. Stanton expects that percentage to jump significantly .
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Speedway will be use new and old media to keep tens of thousand of NASCAR fans informed about traffic as they head to the track for this weekend's racing. Mike Schmaltz says the effort will combine information going out on local radio and TV stations and social media sites.
“In conjunction with the state police, we’ll be sending traffic updates through the media outlets in Cincinnati, Louisville and Lexington. We’ll also have it on our social media. Facebook/State Police, Facebook/Kentucky Speedway. On Twitter, it is @kystatepolice and @kyspeedway,” he said.
An AM radio frequency will also be committed to traffic updates.
Last year's debut of the Quaker State 400 at the Sparta track was marred by gridlock with traffic backed up as much as 15 miles after nearby parking filled hours before the race. Police and traffic officials aren't expecting a repeat thanks to road improvements and additional parking for this year.