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In Good Form: Kentucky Speedway Gives New Meaning to

The earth was graded to the desired incline, then the specially designed bleacher forms laid on grade.

In Good Form: Kentucky Speedway Gives New Meaning to

By Marianne King

"Nothing in Ohio compares to this NASCAR track," said Mark Holloway, whose company pumped the concrete for the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. "This is the only track of its size within a 200-mile radius, and it's trying to work its way up to a Winston Cup race."

The young speedway hosted its first NASCAR Busch Series race this past June. Kerry Earnhardt, eldest son of the late, great Dale Earnhardt, was a featured competitor. Built with 66,089 grandstand seats, the speedway accommodated over 70,000 spectators for the race, drawing fans from Louisville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

The speedway's deluxe features are testament to the growing popularity of NASCAR. In addition to the grandstand seating, there are 50 luxury suites, a 210-seat, private Kentucky Club, a 2,000-seat Bluegrass Club and a host of other amenities. It was designed by David Peacher of Moss Enterprise.

Holloway Concrete Pumping, Middletown, Ky., was subcontracted by concrete contractor Baker Concrete of Columbus, Ohio, to pump most of the bleacher seating, a 635-foot-long pedestrian tunnel and crash barrier. To accomplish the variety of pours, Holloway used a range of equipment, including Putzmeister's 31Z-meter, 43-meter, 52Z-meter, and occasionally, its 36-meter boom pumps.

The entire project required around 48,000 cubic yards of concrete and took 18 months to complete.

To build the bleachers, general contractor, Turner Construction Co., Louisville, graded the earth to the desired incline. Then Baker Concrete had a special forming system made for the bleachers. The form was set on grade and concrete pumped into the form. Holloway set up the pump on top of the embankment and pumped down the face of the slope.

There were three sets of forms, which were poured in a checkerboard pattern. Holloway would pump one form in the morning, then move to the second form in the afternoon. While they were finishing up the second form, the contractor had a crane move the first one into place in preparation for the next morning.

"We pumped about 250 yards or two forms per day," says Holloway, who notes that the bleachers were placed during the hot, dry summer. "The pumping went slowly because of the angle of the pours and the mix itself."

The job called for a very dry mix with a 2-inch slump. Because Holloway was pumping concrete down a severe angle, a dry mix was necessary so that the concrete would hold on the severe slope.

Holloway says his company was given the project, in part, because the concrete was difficult to pump, and his company had the machines capable of such a lean mix.

At two pours a day, the bleachers took approximately three months to complete.

Job specs
Owner: Jerry Carroll Development, Sparta, Ky.
Architect: Moss Enterprise, Louisville, Ky.
General contractor: Turner Construction Co., Louisville, Ky.
Concrete contractor: Baker Concrete, Columbus, Ohio
Pumping contractor: Holloway Concrete Pumping, Middletown, Ky.
Equipment: Putzmeister 31Z-, 36-, 43- and 52Z-meter truck mounted boom pumps