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ISC pulls out all the stops to rally support for Nascar track

TACOMA — An estimated 4,000 racetrack fans filled the Tacoma Dome Thursday night to show their support for the International Speedway Corp. and its intention to build a racing facility in Kitsap County.

“We are presenting a microcosm of a racing weekend here tonight aside from the race itself,” said ISC spokesman Stann Tate prior to the event. Added company Vice President Grant Lynch, “we aren’t here to talk about public-private partnerships or draft legislation. We just want to give fans a taste of what it is like.”

Most of the stadium floor was covered with displays and, of course, fancy cars of every stripe. On one end, several media figures and Nascar drivers, including Kasey Kahne from Enumclaw, gave enthusiastic speeches in support of the project, on a stage borrowed from Toby Keith (scheduled to perform the following night). They shared old stories and pumped up the crowd with sayings like “this track is going to look really great on TV.”

While the intent was to offer fans a free taste, ISC was also looking to get something back. It distributed two different forms for fans to sign, with the purpose of gathering a database of racetrack supporters to mobilize for further events and show support for the project to their individual legislators.

Since announcing its intention to build the track in Kitsap County, ISC has only organized a few specifically targeted public events. The intention behind Thursday’s event was to gather support from outside Kitsap County.

Lynch said ISC chose the Tacoma Dome for its size and central location and the ability to reach people who aren’t residents of Kitsap (ISC projects that 60 percent of racetrack attendees will come from out of state).

While the event itself had elements of a pep rally, Lynch privately addressed the track’s more controversial aspects. He admitted

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