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Saturday, September 4, 2010
Bruton Smith blasts Homestead finale

ESPN.com news services

SPARTA, Ky. -- Speedway Motorsports Inc. owner Bruton Smith isn't a fan of NASCAR's insistence on ending the season in South Florida.

Smith likened Homestead Miami Speedway to "North Cuba," arguing it is not the "proper place" for the Sprint Cup series to end the Chase for the championship.

"If you're going to do a championship, you've got to do it at the proper place, and I don't think North Cuba is the proper place," Smith said.

If you're going to do a championship, you've got to do it at the proper place, and I don't think North Cuba is the proper place.

-- SMI owner Bruton Smith on ending Cup chase at Homestead

The longtime track owner says he'd prefer NASCAR to run its final Cup race at SMI-owned Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Despite his protests, SMI did not make a formal request for NASCAR to add a second Las Vegas race to the 2011 schedule. Smith said it's because he doesn't believe it would make a difference.

"If I thought it was a possibility I would, but I don't see any possibility," he said.

Smith said he expects IndyCar to end the 2011 season at the 1.5-mile oval next October. The series will officially unveil its 2011 schedule next Friday.

When asked how likely it is 2011 IndyCar season will wrap at his track in Sin City, Smith just laughed.

"How high can the numbers go?" he said. "I would be extremely disappointed if that didn't happen."

The current IndyCar season wraps at Homestead Miami Speedway next month.

Smith said SMI does a better job of promoting racing and isn't sure NASCAR would be swayed if the IndyCar event is a major success.

"I don't know," Smith said. "You'd have to look inside their brain and see."

If the IndyCar season does end in Vegas, it means SMI will host at least the final two events of the season. The circuit will visit Kentucky in early October.

It's a marked departure from the traditional late-summer IndyCar visit to the track, but Smith isn't worried about the move hurting attendance even if the date is in the middle of football season.

Smith said the later date will allow the track to promote the IndyCar race after NASCAR's first-ever Cup event at the speedway in early July.

Smith added there are no plans to repave Kentucky before next year's Cup visit. NASCAR Trucks veteran Todd Bodine said following Friday night's race he believed the Cup drivers would have a problem with the historically bumpy circuit.

"The drivers are telling us don't touch it," Smith said.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.