Gary Baker says Nashville Superspeedway could be saved: Gary Baker, one-time operator of some of NASCAR's most successful racetracks, says Nashville Superspeedway could be revived and turned into a successful venue - and he might be interested in doing it himself. "If someone wanted to call and discuss it, I'd listen," Baker said in discussing the prospects of the Gladeville facility that is entering its fifth season of idleness. "Could the track be successful under the right conditions? The short answer is 'Yes.'" Baker said. "The question is, can those conditions be met?"
The Franklin resident said he was contacted by Dover Motorsports five years ago when the parent company decided to sell the track after a decade of declining attendance. "I had some discussions with Denis (Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn) at the time, but shortly afterwards it was announced that someone else had bought the track," Baker said. That "someone else" was global technology company NeXovation, whose CEO Rob Sexton lives in Hendersonville. On May 29, 2014 it was announced that NeXovation was buying the track for $46 million, which included $18 million in Wilson County bond obligations. However, repeated deadlines for closing the sale came and went, and finally last fall Dover said it would entertain new offers.
In addition to the purchase price, Baker said about $4 million needs to be invested in a "reconfiguration" of the 1.3-mile track. "You basically need to tear it up and start over," he said. Baker, who has owned/operated NASCAR Cup-racing tracks in Nashville, Bristol and Atlanta, said from the start that the Superspeedway design was all wrong. While Baker is convinced the track could succeed under the right circumstances, he added that the "challenge is greater now ever." "It's a much more challenging environment," he said, referring to declining NASCAR attendance and withering corporate sponsorships. "There are a lot of uses for a racetrack besides racing," he said. "To be successful it would need to be a multi-use facility with other revenue sources in addition to racing." In addition to the main track, the original design of the Gladeville facility included a road-racing course, drag strip, dirt track and short track. The latter three were never completed.(Lebanon Democrat)(1-17-2016)
Final closing period set for Nashville Superspeedway: NeXovation has secured the funding to close on the Nashville Superspeedway. However, the combination of the bond issue and the necessary due diligence have caused recent delays in closing. NeXovation, in cooperation with Dover, agreed on Friday, March 27th to a final closing period, which stipulates that the closing will occur within 60 days. As a show of good faith, NeXovation made an additional investment of $400,000 on March 27th, adding to previous investments made in 2014 and 2015. This fourth investment brings NeXovation’s total investment in the Nashville Superspeedway to $2.5 million: four investments equaling $1 million, in addition to its initial investment of $1.5 million, to secure NeXovation’s purchase of the Nashville Superspeedway. NeXovation looks forward to bringing its business model and vision for the Nashville Superspeedway to Wilson County, the Nashville area and the global motorsports and OEM communities.(Ackermann PR for NeXovation)(3-31-2015)
Nashville Superspeedway sale deadline extended for fifth time: The closing deadline on the sale of Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County by Dover Motorsports to NeXovation Inc. has been extended to March 27, according to recent filing. NeXovation Inc. announced in May an agreement to purchase the race track from Dover and its subsidiary Nashville Speedway U.S.A. Inc. for nearly $46 million — $27 million in cash and the assumption of about $18.8 million in bond obligations owed to Wilson County. It's the fifth time the closing has been extended. The most recent deadline had been set for Feb. 25. NeXovation has already paid $1.7 million in non-refundable payments that will be applied to the purchase price. The filing Dover filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission states NeXovation paid $200,000 for the latest extension, which is non-refundable, but will not be applied toward the purchase price. NeXovation has now paid $400,000 total for the last two deadline extensions, that is nonrefundable and won’t be refunded nor applied to the purchase price.(Tennessean)(2-24-2015)
Nashville Superspeedway sale delayed once again: Last May it was announced that NeXovation, a global technology company whose CEO Robb Sexton lives in Hendersonville, was buying Nashville Superspeedway from Dover Motorsports. However, several deadlines have been missed for finalizing the transaction -- the latest one on Jan. 28 -- causing some to wonder if the sale of the troubled track is in jeopardy. "What is the hold-up?" says Terrell Davis, editor of Middle Tennessee Racing News. "Since no one is giving any explanations about why yet another extension is needed, I have to assume that the deal isn't going to happen." Sexton has been unavailable for comment on the repeated delays. NeXovation spokesperson Erin Burns Freeman on Monday issued a statement that said a new deadline of Feb. 25 has been set for completing the sale, but offered no explanation for the latest delay. "Since that's the only update at this time, NeXovation has nothing further to state at this juncture," according to the statement. After struggling with low attendance during its 10 years of operation, Dover halted racing at the Gladeville facility three years ago and offered it for sale. Last spring, amid huge fanfare that included national media coverage, NeXovation announced it was buying the track for $45.8 million. That price included $18.8 million in bond obligations to Wilson County.
Sexton said he planned to make the track a "year-round, multi-use facility," with motorsports its primary focus. He said he would not rule out trying to bring back NASCAR and IndyCar racing, even though neither succeeded previously. There was speculation that a drag strip, dirt track and short track, all in Dover's original blueprint, might be completed. Sexton said he would disclose his specific plans once the sale was finalized. That was scheduled for last August. However, August came and went and the sale was not completed. A new deadline was set for Oct. 25. That deadline also passed, and a new one was set for Dec. 31. That one likewise was not met, and another deadline was set for Jan. 28. Now it has been missed, and another set for Feb. 25.
The only explanation for the holdup was given back in the fall when the company said it "needed more time to do due diligence on certain survey items."
"Maybe another extension will allow the stars to align and the deal can finally be closed," says Davis, who broke the story about Dover's choice of Gladeville for the track site, and has followed developments ever since. "In all honesty, I'm not sure another extension will help." Compounding the track's problems is the loss of NASCAR test dates. After racing was suspended, the track still generated some revenue by being leased to teams for test sessions. This year, however, NASCAR banned such private testing. "I'm pulling for the track to make it," Davis says, "but it's going to be a challenge, no matter who is operating it."(Lebanon Democrat)(1-30-2015)
Deadline for sale of Nashville Superspeedway extended again: The closing deadline on the sale of Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County by Dover Motorsports to NeXovation Inc. has been extended to Jan. 26, according to a recent filing. NeXovation Inc. announced in May an agreement to purchase the race track from Dover and its subsidiary Nashville Speedway U.S.A. Inc. for nearly $46 million - $27 million in cash and the assumption of about $18.8 million in bond obligations owed to Wilson County. It's the third time the closing has been extended. The second deadline had been set for Wednesday. NeXovation agreed to release the $1.1 million remaining in escrow to Dover and pay an additional $200,000 as part of the agreement to extend a third time, according to the document Dover recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The $1.7 million NeXovation has now paid Dover Motorsports is non-refundable, but will be applied toward the purchase price. NeXovation hadn't revealed specifics on how it will use the Superspeedway other than say it plans for it to be a year-round venue with events beyond auto racing.(Tennessean)(12-23-2014)
Nashville Superspeedway sale delayed UPDATE: The sale of the Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon (TN) was delayed at the request of the buyer, NeXovation, and Dover Motorsports has issued an Oct. 25 deadline to close the deal. The Nashville Business Journal reported the development last week, and it was confirmed Monday by NeXovation public relations director Chris Goodrich. It is unclear what happens if the deadline is not met, but it is assumed the sale will be voided and Dover will retain ownership of the troubled Gladeville facility that has sat idle for three years. The Business Journal reported, “The would-be buyer of the Nashville Superspeedway has been given more time to complete the deal.” Citing a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the report said the $45.8 million deal between track owner Dover Motorsports Inc. and Nashville-based NeXovation was announced in May. Under the deal, NeXovation is to pay Dover Motorsports $27 million in cash and assume $18.8 million in outstanding bond obligations owned to Wilson County. According to the Business Journal, NeXovation could choose to back out of the deal before the Dover deadline. (full story at the Lebanon Democrat)(10-5-2014)
UPDATE: Tuesday, NeXovation, Inc. and Dover Motorsports, Inc. amended the purchase agreement between them concerning NeXovation’s acquisition of the Nashville Superspeedway. The amendment will allow NeXovation additional time to complete the required due diligence on certain survey items. "We intend to close before the end of the year, ideally, as soon as possible", said Robert J. "Robb" Sexton, CEO at NeXovation, Inc. NeXovation has already made a firm payment on the purchase transaction, according to Dover’s statements in its recently released 8-K.(NeXovation)(10-9-2014)
New owner would like to bring NASCAR back to Nashville Superspeedway: Robb Sexton, new owner of Nashville Superspeedway, won't rule out attempting to bring back NASCAR and IndyCar racing at some point in the future. "Never say never," Sexton said Tuesday during an interview about his vision for the sprawling Gladeville track on which racing was suspended three years ago. During its 11 years of operation, the track ran NASCAR Nationwide and truck races, and was on the IndyCar schedule for eight seasons. The lower-tier NASCAR races failed to draw, the IndyCar Series departed, and the big dreams for the track died. In addition to utilizing the 1.3-mile main racetrack, Sexton also expressed interest in developing the drag strip, dirt track and short track that were included in the original blueprints. "We plan to develop the entire facility," Sexton said. "We have a comprehensive business plan that involves using the track 52 weeks a year, with a primary emphasis on the motorsports community. Our focus is on a motorsports identity." Sexton anticipates having some form of activity on the track this year, but declined to discuss particulars. He said he will reveal specifics at a press conference next month. It is speculated that the Superspeedway facility will be put to multiple uses, including automotive testing and as a possible entertainment venue, in addition to hosting various forms of motorsports.(Lebanon Democrat)(6-15-2014)
Dover Motorsports selling Nashville Superspeedway: Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Nashville Superspeedway facility to NeXovation, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Dover Motorsports and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nashville Speedway U.S.A., Inc., will sell the Nashville Superspeedway facility along with some related equipment and assets for $27 million in cash and the assumption by NeXovation of obligations of Dover Motorsports under certain Variable Rate Tax Exempt Infrastructure Revenue Bonds. The Bonds are the obligation of the Sports Authority of the County of Wilson, Tennessee and were issued by the Sports Authority in 1999 in order to build certain infrastructure improvements benefiting the speedway. Debt service on the Bonds, which have a remaining principal balance of $18,800,000, is payable from property and sales taxes generated by the facility. Principal and interest on the Bonds are secured by a letter of credit provided by Dover Motorsports which will be replaced by a letter of credit provided by NeXovation. Commenting on the sale, Dover Motorsports CEO, Denis McGlynn said, "This is a great deal for all concerned insofar as we can transfer an under-utilized, high quality asset to NeXovation, who will create and implement a new business model and re-activate Nashville Superspeedway for the benefit of everyone in the area." Closing is expected to take place in the third quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.(Dover Motorsports)(5-29-2014)
Nashville Superspeedway will be available for race team testing in 2012: Dover Motorsports, Inc. has announced that Nashville Superspeedway, the company's track in Lebanon, Tenn., will be available for race team testing beginning in January 2012. The 1.33-mile, concrete oval played host to 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series races, 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and eight IndyCar Series races from 2001 to 2011. "Nashville Superspeedway is a world-class facility and lies within driving distance of most race teams' headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.," said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. "We anticipate strong interest in the facility as a test venue." Nashville Superspeedway will begin taking reservations for testing in 2012 immediately more information at nashvillesuperspeedway.com.(12-26-2011)
Marlin leads group to save Fairgrounds Speedway; GM hired: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin from Columbia, TN has joined two other former NASCAR drivers in leading an effort to save the Fairgrounds Speedway. Marlin aalong with Chad Chaffin and Mike Alexander have joined with several other racers and businessmen to form Tennessee Racing Association, LLC, with the single mission of procuring the rights to continue the history of automobile racing at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. “The history of the Nashville track is known nearly around the world,” said Marlin. “And we’re committed to seeing that continue in a positive way.”
Marlin, a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, is also a three-time track champion at Nashville and a long history of success in farming, automobile sales and real estate endeavors.
Chaffin, a two-time track champion at Nashville and a regular on the NASCAR Nationwide, won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series twice. He is a member of the Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame. Sandrell Heating & Air “We want to bring the sport to another generation, the way it was given to us. We believe the track should be a benefit to the Tennessee State Fair Board and the surrounding community,” said Chaffin. Chaffin is the owner of Southeast Recycling, one of the largest fiber recycling operations in the United States. “We believe we have the best organization to accomplish the three tasks of continuing the sport, being good neighbors to the community and providing a positive revenue stream for the Fair Board.”
Alexander, also a two-time Nashville champion,won the 1983 NASCAR National Championship for short track racers, was a regular on the NASCAR Nationwide and Spring Cup Series. He is also a member of the Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame. Alexander is an integral part of the success of the Alexander Automotive Group, Tennessee’s largest family-owned dealer franchise before it was sold earlier this year.
Another member of the group is Johnny Turner, owner of Crown Jewelry and Gifts in Franklin, a company he founded in 1998. Turner raced at the Fairgrounds thoughout the 1980’s. “I believe that with the strength of this group we have formed (Tennessee Racing Associates, LLC), there is enough business background, passion for and dedication to racing, that we can, and will, bring racing back to the Nashville Fairgrounds as the great facility it once was,” said Turner. The group of ten individuals brings more than 250 years of racing experience and more than 50 championships from across the southeast, but more importantly more than 300 years of successful business operation in multiple fields.(Columbia Daily Herald)
AND:Tennessee Racing Associates, LLC today announced the hiring of Nashville native and Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame member Joe T. Williams as general manager of the group's efforts to secure the racing lease at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds for 2012. Williams brings an eclectic history to the task, including radio and television, race track management and public relations, writing and industrial health and safety. He has had success in both the private and governmental sectors. Williams was also one of the architects of the facility's resurgence in the mid '80's when it became the top weekly track in the country, averaging over 11,000 fans per event, after losing two NASCAR Cup dates in a bankruptcy fiasco.(TRA)(12-1-2011)
Marlin interested in Fairgrounds Speedway: Retired NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin is interested in acquiring the lease to Nashville's Fairgrounds Speedway, after fellow driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. gave up after one frustrating season. Hamilton will not continue to operate the track next season, according to Buck Dozier, head of the Metro Fair Board that oversees the city-owned facility. Hamilton encountered numerous problems during the season and cancelled the scheduled season-finale All-American 400 – a fixture for over two decades and the track's premier event. Hamilton will continue to own and operate Highland Rim Speedway, a quarter-mile track located 20 miles north of Nashville. One year remains on the two-year Fairgrounds Speedway lease granted by the city and Marlin heads a group of investors that is interested in acquiring it. Marlin told local radio show host Terrell Davis that he would like to take over the track "if everything can be worked out." Marlin has assisted previous efforts to keep the track afloat, working with last year's operator, Tony Formosa Jr., to promote the track. Marlin won three championships at the track in the 1980's, following in the footsteps of his famous father, Coo Coo, a four-time champion in the 1960's. The Fair Board expects to make a decision about the track's new operator by the end of the year.(RacinToday)(11-15-2011)
Nashville declines to seek any 2012 NASCAR race: Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Nashville Superspeedway, has notified NASCAR that it will not seek any 2012 race sanctions. Vice President and General Manager of Nashville Superspeedway, Cliff Hawks, stated, "Nashville is a tremendous market filled with passionate race fans. We have some extremely dedicated and talented employees who have made this track a great destination, but the reality is, after ten years of effort, we have to face the fact that without a Sprint Cup race and/or a significant change in the operating model for other events, we simply cannot continue." Nashville has a few events left on the schedule for the remainder of 2011 that will not be impacted by the announcement.
Denis McGlynn, President & CEO of Dover Motorsports, stated, "We deeply appreciate all the hard work that our employees have put into making Nashville Superspeedway such a remarkable facility, and Cliff Hawks will remain to assist us with transition issues. We have also had years of unrelenting support from state, county and local officials and from the racing community - from racing fans and drivers to sponsors, team owners and various sanctioning bodies. We are, however, at a juncture where we must evaluate all of our options for this track, including its possible sale."
Nashville Superspeedway first opened in 2001 and is situated on almost 1,400 acres of owned land just outside of Nashville, Tennessee on Route 840 (connecting Interstate 40 with Interstate 24). The 1.33 mile concrete superspeedway has 25,000 permanent grandstand seats, lights for nighttime racing, foundation work for a dirt track, short track and drag strip and infrastructure in place to expand to 150,000 seats.
Dover Motorsports will disclose additional financial details relative to today's announcement as soon as practicable. The Company expects to incur a to be determined non-cash impairment charge to write down the carrying value of long-lived assets at the facility to fair value and to incur certain severance costs. These will be third quarter events. Dover Motorsports provides a letter of credit to guarantee payment of certain tax exempt revenue bonds whose proceeds were used for public infrastructure improvements benefiting the Nashville facility. The bonds were originally issued by the Sports Authority of the County of Wilson in 1999 in the amount of $25,900,000 and $21,000,000 of this amount remains outstanding. Since the bonds are direct obligations of the Sports Authority and are payable from property and sales taxes generated from the facility, they have not historically been recorded on the Company's consolidated balance sheet under generally accepted accounting principles. Today's announcement does not affect these bonds and they will continue to be paid from any applicable taxes. To the extent that the taxes are insufficient, the Company's letter of credit will be drawn on to make up any difference and the portion of the bonds expected to be so paid will be recorded in the third quarter as a liability of the Company on its consolidated balance sheet (Nashville Superspeedway).(8-3-2011)
Sam Bass returns to Nashville with famed trophy guitar art: Since 2002, Sam Bass has been the artist behind the designs that cover one of the most sought after trophies in NASCAR; the Gibson guitar trophy hailing from Nashville Superspeedway. Bass will reveal his latest unique guitar creation to the winners of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series races this weekend. He also illustrated the cover for this weekend's programs - a tradition that has been carried out over a 10-year time span.(Nashville Superspeedway)(7-21-2011)
Hamilton Jr. & Chaffin team up to keep Fairgrounds Speedway open: A pair of local [Nashville] racers with longtime connections to Fairgrounds Speedway — Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Chad Chaffin — have been awarded a contract to lease the track and keep it open for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The state fair board awarded the lease to Hamilton and Chaffin on Wednesday following their bid that guarantees a minimum of $53,100 annually to the fair board. Their bid also has a minimum of $8,001 for each night race, with up to five of those races allowed each season. It also includes a guarantee of $1 per ticket for each day race with a minimum of two races required. Tony Formosa Jr., who operated the track last season, made a bid of $5,000 per race without a minimum guarantee. The lease calls for two of the races to be run on the same weekend that the flea market is held at the fairgrounds and one during the Tennessee State Fair. Chaffin said he is confident enough profit will come from the track to cover the guarantee. Formosa declined to comment on his bid and why he did not include a guarantee. Hamilton already operates two other tracks in the area — Highland Rim in Greenbrier and Riverview in Carthage. He said getting all three of the tracks in the area on a schedule that does not conflict with each other will be a key in growing the auto racing fan base, which will benefit each facility.(Tennessean)(4-21-2011)
NASCAR drivers make bid for speedway: A second group has made a formal proposal to hold auto races at the Fairgrounds Speedway, setting up a potential showdown at the Board of Fair Commissioners’ April meeting that could decide the short-term fate of operations at the racetrack. Former NASCAR drivers Chad Chaffin and Bobby Hamilton Jr., and other partners, have proposed holding 20 racing events over the 2011 and 2012 seasons, for which they would pay the fair board $5,000 per event. The proposal also references a handful of charity agreements, which includes pledged donations to nearby Fall-Hamilton Elementary School. “It is our intention to return local racing to its proper place in relevance to other sporting and entertainment events in Nashville,” their proposal reads. “We want to bring people to the fairgrounds and to serve as a support activity for visitors to our great city.” The state fair and the fairgrounds expo center are set to remain at the much-disputed 117-acre fairgrounds property for at least the next two years after Mayor Karl Dean retreated on redevelopment plans over the winter. The Metro Council in January voted to hold off on the demolition of the racetrack for the time being. Still, the status of racing is unclear.
Chaffin and Hamilton’s proposal comes after racing promoter Tony Formosa, the track’s most recent operator, already pitched an offer at this month’s fair board meeting. Formosa has since tweaked his proposal, and has asked to hold six events for 2011 and a minimum of six events for 2012. The event fee would be $4,500 for the first year and $4,725 for the next. Formosa has said time is of the essence for the board to make a decision on racing. “The longer we wait, the more handicapped we are,” he told commissioners last month. For now, the fair board is to consider both proposals at its April 5 meeting. The board could either accept one of the two pitches or reject both. Both Chaffin and Formosa this Saturday are taking part in muffler demonstrations at the speedway in attempt to show they can reduce the noise of their stock cars. Formosa’s muffler test begins at noon, with Chaffin’s beginning at 1:30 p.m. Fairgrounds neighbors are invited. Mufflers are mandatory in both proposals.(Nashville Ciy Paper)(4-1-2011)
Bully Hill Vineyards to sponsor the April Truck Series race at Nashville: Nashville Superspeedway and Bully Hill Vineyards have entered into a new partnership agreement that names the Hammondsport, N.Y.-based vineyard and winery the official wine of Nashville Superspeedway, and title sponsor of the “Bully Hill Vineyards 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on April 22, 2011. New for 2011, tickets for the “Bully Hill Vineyards 200” start at just $25 for adults and only $10 for juniors 14 and under. A Friday ticket also includes NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice and qualifying, and two NASCAR Nationwide Series practice sessions. A special NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-NASCAR Nationwide Series autograph session is also scheduled for Friday, April 22. NASCAR returns to Nashville Superspeedway in 2011 with two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-NASCAR Nationwide Series doubleheaders on April 22-23 and July 22-23. For more information, call 1-866-RACE-TIX or visit NashvilleSuperspeedway.com.
Lucas Oil to sponsor Truck Series races at Dover and Nashville: Lucas Oil, Dover International Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway have entered into a new partnership agreement that names the manufacturer of problem solving additives and high performance lubricants as title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at both Dover Motorsports, Inc. facilities. The “Lucas Oil 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, May 13 will kickoff the May 13-15, 2011 NASCAR tripleheader at the Monster Mile in Dover, Del. The “Lucas Deep Clean 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, July 22 will be held under the lights at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn. as part of a NASCAR doubleheader on July 22-23, 2011.
Tickets are now on sale for NASCAR’s return to the Monster Mile on May 13-15, 2011. To purchase tickets, call 1-800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.
NASCAR returns to Nashville Superspeedway on April 22-23, 2011. To purchase tickets, call 1-866-RACE-TIX or visit NashvilleSuperspeedway.com.(Dover Motorsports PR)(2-12-2011)
Nashville Fairgrounds racetrack won't be razed: The Metro Council dealt a final blow Tuesday to recent efforts to demolish the racetrack at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, calling for a master plan for the site instead. The council ratified what it had decided with a preliminary vote two weeks ago, when racing fans and other fairgrounds supporters poured into the courthouse for a public hearing. Council members decided that night to amend a bill that would have destroyed the track, and they agreed that racing could continue there, though it's unclear if the fair board will allow it. The vote upset area residents who were hoping to end racing and the noise that comes with it. Tuesday's decision came and went with little fanfare and no substantive discussion. After the vote, Councilman Jason Holleman, who wrote the major amendment to the legislation, said he hopes the fair board will listen to the various interest groups during the master planning process.(Tennessean)(2-5-2011)
Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway, saved....for now: Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway, a 53-year-old track where many of NASCAR’s giants competed over the decades, has avoided the wrecking ball – at least temporarily. Metro Council on Tuesday voted to hold off on demolishing the track as part of a “redevelopment” of the 114-acre city-owned property. The vote was a major setback for Nashville Mayor Carl Dean who had lobbied hard for the track’s destruction.
A campaign led by former Speedway racers Sterling Marlin, Darrell Waltrip, Chad Chaffin and others was able to gain the reprieve for the track. They want to present an alternate plan for the site – a plan that will preserve auto racing, the State Fair, Flea Market and other traditional events. The Save-the-Track group, with Marlin its most visible spokesman, is requesting a 15-year lease from the city to allow investors to make capital improvements. “There’s too much history here to just pave it over,” said Marlin , whose father Coo Coo was a four-time track champion in the 1960’s. Sterling added three more championships in the 1980’s before moving on to a NASCAR career that was highlighted by two Daytona 500 victories.
The mayor claimed that the Fairgrounds property could be re-developed and used to increase tax revenues. His critics pointed out that the same could be said for the thousands of acres of city parks, golf courses, tennis courts and even a sailboat marine that the city owns and maintains at taxpayer expense. During a heated Tuesday night Council meeting, a neighborhood group complained that the track noise hurts their quality of life and reduces real estate values. But track proponents pointed out that the track has been there for 53 years – and racing has been on the site for more than a century – and anyone who moved into the neighborhood did so knowing they were moving next to a racetrack. It was also noted that the surrounding property was bought at bargain prices and would escalate in value if the track is demolished – a real estate windfall that might be more of a motive than any improved “quality of life.” With the track’s demolition on hold, the next step in the process will be for Marlin’s group to present an alternate plan for the Council’s consideration.(RacinToday)(1-20-2011)
Racetrack at Nashville fairgrounds awaits its fate: A critical vote will decide whether Nashville [TN] keeps its historic racetrack or demolishes it to make way for development. Although Mayor Karl Dean is delaying plans to relocate other events held at the city's fairgrounds, he supports tearing down the racetrack in favor of a public park. Murky finances and unstable operations have plagued the Nashville Speedway for decades, but the issue of whether the track should stay open could be decided in 2011. Metro Council is considering a bill that, among other things, would clear the racetrack for a 40-acre park. The legislation is up for a public hearing and its second vote on Jan. 18. Demolishing the racetrack is the next step in Dean's plans to redevelop the 117-acre fairgrounds property. Dean backtracked on his proposal to move the flea market and expo center to Hickory Hollow Mall but wants to move forward with tearing down the racetrack. Racing fans started a petition drive to save the track last year through Metro Councilman Duane Dominy, who collected more than 40,000 signatures. Current operator Tony Formosa, whose four decades at the Nashville Speedway include time as a driver, pit crew manager and promoter, said he believes the track is viable if an operator were to be given at least a 10-year lease. Formosa said the track's long history and prime location in a major media market make it a desirable location. Only five races were held at the track in 2010, but Formosa said attendance averaged 6,500 people. There may not be a 14-acre stretch of land in the entire country with more racing history than the Nashville Speedway. Stock car legends such as Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip cut their teeth there, and generations of auto racing fans grew up attending races at the fairgrounds. In 1958, the Nashville Speedway hosted its first NASCAR event, and Music City remained a stop on the top stock car tour until 1984. That's when financial problems for the track operator at the time caused NASCAR to pull out. When other cities built new tracks to attract major NASCAR races, Nashville's future as a racing city was jeopardized. Some second-tier professional racing continued at the track until 2000, when the Nashville Superspeedway opened in Wilson County and NASCAR took its races there. Since that time, the fairgrounds racetrack has hosted amateur races.(Tennessean)(1-10-2010)
Nashville reducing ticket prices: A new year and a new NASCAR season brings new reduced ticket prices for fans of Nashville Superspeedway. Single event tickets for NASCAR events at Nashville will go on sale this Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 8 a.m. Fans can take advantage of the new reduced ticket prices by reserving their seats in advance to receive the best pricing available. Tickets for NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Nashville on April 23 and July 23 start at $30, while tickets for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on April 22 and July 22 start at $25. Nashville has also increased the age and reduced the price on all junior tickets for fans 14 and under. Juniors can attend any of the four NASCAR events for just $10 when purchased in advance. Tickets purchased at the gate will increase by $5 for juniors and $10 for adults per ticket. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-866-RACE-TIX or online at NashvilleSuperspeedway.com.(NSS)(1-4-2010)
Effort to Save Nashville track: The latest group to fight for preservation of some corner of the highly controversial State Fairground property feels a personal attachment to the [Nashville] Fairgrounds Speedway: the stock car racetrack said to date back to the early 1900s. "I just remember that (original raceway symbol)," said Tony Formosa, lamenting about the prospect of losing the historical sports symbol, and Nashville landmark, to a wrecking ball. "And I just remember that: the cushions that you rented and sat on, had this logo. I been born and raised at this facility!" Formosa, serving as the track's promoter this year, managed to schedule five race events this calendar year, and is now helping lead the charge to save the life of the track. Metro council member Sandra Moore, whose district this is, on December 21, is set to introduce a bill that would call for immediate demolition of the racetrack, specifically. "Her heart's probably in the right spot, but this is really the first we've ever heard from her, in terms of noise complaints and things like that," said Darden Copeland, spokesperson for the group Save My Fairgrounds. "Now that the mayor wants to re-develop the property, she is very much in favor of the mayor's plan." Copeland told NewsChannel 5 it was the group's goal to collect signatures from 1,860 of the roughly 9,229 voters who live in District 17. And volunteers going door-to-door were not only talking, Copeland said, but also listening to neighbors' complaints and concerns who are on the fence over the racetrack issue, or full-on eager to see it go.(NewChannel5.com)(12-16-2010)
Sterling Marlin fighting to keep race track open: Two time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin could file a lawsuit as early as Wednesday to block Mayor Karl Dean's plan to shut down the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. "There is not a short track in the country better than this place and the powers that be just don't understand that," Marlin told News 2. Marlin was at the speedway racing in the 27th Annual All American 400. "My daughter races, my son races," Marlin said. "Hopefully we can save it and my grandson can race here one day." The speedway opened in 1904 with horse races. In 1958, the dirt track was replaced with asphalt and car racing started. For years the raceway was part of NASCAR. Racing legends like Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty raced on the track. Mayor Dean plans to redevelop the fairgrounds. 2010 was also the last year for the Tennessee State Fair at the fairgrounds.(wkrn.com)(10-5-2010)
Fairgrounds Speedway's final race Oct 2nd: The end of a historic era as the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville will see the final flag waved on October 2nd, 2010. The Nashville All American event will be featured on Friday, October 1st and Saturday, October 2nd. The fairgrounds track opened as an asphalt speedplant in 1958. The first champion, Bob Reuther was lead by crew chief, Preacher Hamilton, grandfather of the late Bobby Hamilton, Sr., 2004 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion.
The Saturday event will be highlighted by induction of twelve greats to the Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame. Gary Baker, co-owner of NASCAR Nationwide Series team Baker Curb Racing will be one of the twelve who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Baker was the leaseholder on two occasions at the fairgrounds. Doyle Ford, former chief starter for NASCAR Winston Cup will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during the 6pm ceremony. Baker and Ford will join two time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin, the late Bobby Hamilton, Sr., and three time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip that have been named in previous years into the Hall of Fame. The fairgrounds facility hosted NASCAR Winston Cup events for 27 years from (1958 - 1984). The mayor of Nashville has made it plain that this will be the final event to be held at the historic Tennessee State Fairgrounds track.(Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville)(9-30-2010)
Nashville Will Not Follow Gateway Out The Door: Dover Motorsports has canceled next year’s NASCAR races at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois, after closing the company’s Memphis track last year – a dismal reminder about the sport’s financial state of affairs. However, another Dover track, Nashville Superspeedway, is making plans for the 2011 season and track spokesman Cliff Hawks maintains a positive outlook. “We’re in talks with some potential new sponsors for next year, including one possible five-year deal,’ said Hawks, the track’s vice president and general manager. As for the grim Gateway news: “It’s tough to see a sister track not be on the schedule next year, but it will have no impact on our operation,” Hawks said. “I remain very optimistic about our track’s future.” When Dover closed its Memphis track the Superspeedway inherited its NASCAR Camping World Series race. However, Hawks said his track will receive none of the three lost Gateway events – two Nationwide Series races and a truck race. Where those races will end up – or even if they will be on the schedule – has not has not been determined. “We already have our schedule planned for 2011 – two Nationwide Series races and two Camping World Series races,” Hawks said. “The only thing that we haven’t finalized is our hope that we can run two doubleheader weekends next year. Earlier this season ran a Nationwide/truck series doubleheader and the response was very positive. We’re got our fingers crossed that we can run two such doubleheaders next season.”(Racin' Today)(8-3-2010)
Steel Magnolia to perform post-race concert at Nashville: Race fans at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 3 will have a good reason to remain on their feet following the conclusion of 300 miles of NASCAR Nationwide Series action. Big Machine Records recording artists Steel Magnolia will perform a post-race concert on the frontstretch as part of the Dillon Transportation Concert Series immediately following the race, scheduled to take the green flag at 3 p.m. The concert is free to all April 3 NASCAR Nationwide Series race ticket holders. As the season two winners of CMT's Can You Duet?, Steel Magnolia (Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones) captured America's hearts with their dynamic harmony and music that is one part Country and two parts Southern Soul. The duo's top-15 hit, "Keep On Lovin' You," is the lead single from the Valentine's Day Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and is the highest-charting debut single from a Country duo in over three years.(Nashville PR)(3-10-2010)
Tix for Nashville Superspeedway 2010 NASCAR events on sale: With just over six weeks until the start of the 2010 season, the excitement is building for NASCAR’s return to Nashville Superspeedway. For the first time in the 10-year history of the track, Nashville will host the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series on the same weekend, April 2-3, 2010. Fans can reserve great seats by calling 866-RACE-TIX or online at NashvilleSuperspeedway.com.(Nashville Superspeedway)(1-8-2010)
Fairgrounds Speedway closes: The end came quicker than expected for Fairgrounds Speedway [formerly Nashville Speedway] as track operator Danny Denson has decided to cancel the scheduled season-ending All-American 400. The race had originally been set for last weekend but was postponed due to a rainy forecast and rescheduled for the end of the month. Denson reconsidered, but Wednesday decided to cancel the race and close the track due to ongoing problems with Metro. “There had been so much negative attention that we decided to go and end it now,” said Denson, referring to plans by Mayor Karl Dean, and the Fair Board vote, to shut down the entire Fairgrounds next June 30. “It’s impossible to promote a race in this kind of atmosphere. It’s all over. It’s a sad day for our sport and our city,” he said. The track opened in 1958 on a Metro-owned site that had hosted some form of racing since 1904. The closing of Fairgrounds Speedways leaves Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County as the only major-league race track in Middle Tennessee. That track is considered unsuitable for local-division racing. “I don’t know where young drivers just starting out are going to race,” said Sterling Marlin, a three-time track champion whose son Steadman and daughter Sutherlin raced at the Fairgrounds this season.(Nashville City Paper)(11-8-2009)
Dover Motorsports shuts down Memphis track: Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that it was ceasing all operations at Memphis Motorsports Park and that it would not be promoting any events in Memphis in 2010. As previously announced, the Memphis facility had been under an agreement of sale to Gulf Coast Entertainment but Gulf Coast was unable to secure financing. "This was a difficult decision for us, but one that ultimately was dictated by economics," said Denis McGlynn, President and CEO of Dover Motorsports. "We greatly appreciate the many years of dedication shown by our Memphis employees and their efforts to make Memphis such a great destination for the racing community - from racing fans and drivers to sponsors, team owners and sanctioning bodies. For all concerned, including the Memphis community, it is truly sad to see Memphis Motorsports Park taken off the racing schedule. NASCAR has approved the realignment of our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events from Memphis Motorsports Park to our Nashville and Gateway facilities."
The realigned events and dates are as follows:
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nashville Superspeedway, April 2, 2010, (together with NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 3, 2010)
NASCAR Nationwide Series, Gateway International Raceway, October 23, 2010.(Dover Motorsports PR)(10-30-2009)
- Tix on sale for Nationwide Series Race at Nashville: For the 14th-consecutive year, Federated Auto Parts will sponsor the Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The 2009 race will be held June 6 at the Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race will be held Saturday evening, June 6. Tickets are on sale today by calling toll-free 1-866-RACE-TIX or online at www.nashvillesuperspeedway.com.(5-12-2009)
- Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville offers NASCAR testing: Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville is extending a helping hand to NASCAR race teams by making the famed 5/8ths-mile track available as a testing facility. According to the track’s new promoter, Nashville businessman Danny Denson, plans to make the facility available as a testing site for NASCAR’s top three divisions, the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, have been met with a great amount of enthusiasm by NASCAR teams. Once the site of two Cup races per year, NASCAR’s last Cup race was held at the track in 1984. The track hosted a Busch event and Craftsman Truck race each year until 2000 when the leaseholder, Dover Motorsports moved the events to their new facility, Nashville Superspeedway, located near Lebanon, Tennessee. Since then, the track has continued to host a popular weekly racing series topped by Late Model, SuperTruck and Sportsman divisions.(Middle Tennessee Racing News)(3-7-2009)
- Nashville gives fans all-access and concert: In an effort to give NASCAR fans unprecedented behind the scene access; Nashville Superspeedway is rolling out a new opportunity for race fans in 2009. It's called - All Access. To return to some of the "grassroots" elements that have made NASCAR so popular among motorsports fans; Nashville Superspeedway will debut this new fan initiative at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, April 11. The All Access initiative presents a new opportunity for fans to enjoy even more accessibility , and will allow more access to parts of the racing facility that have been "off limits" in the past. Nashville Superspeedway will host three (3) major NASCAR events including April's NASCAR Nationwide Series race; the Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race June 5-6, and the Toyota Tundra 200 NASCAR Camping World Series race July 31-August 1. In addition, Country stars Emerson Drive will perform a special post-race concert for fans after the April 11th Nationwide race. The All Access Pass is included in the 2009 Season Tickets for only $149. Single-event ticket customers can add the All Access pass for $50. To purchase Season or Single-event tickets call 1-866-RACE-TIX or visit nashvillesuperspeedway.com.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(2-19-2009)
- Nashville Tickets on sale: 2009 Season Tickets and Single Event Tickets are on sale at Nashville Superspeedway, which will host three (3) major events in 2009 which include: Nationwide Series 300 on April 10-11, 2009; Nationwide Series Federated Auto Parts 300 on June 5-6, 2009 and Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra 200 on July 31-August 1, 2009. Practice and qualifying on Friday will be General Admission seats only. Premium Plus will not be having food or drinks or elevator access. More info at the Nashville Superspeedway site.(1-14-2009)
- Nashville Superspeedway Single Event Tix on sale: Nashville Superspeedway will "green flag" Middle Tennessee's race season on Saturday, March 22 at the annual Pepsi
300 Nationwide Series race. Nextel Cup drivers Carl Edwards and Kyle Bush are featured in the line up. The Easter weekend race will also feature popular Christian rock band Third Day performing in a post race concert. Single event tickets for the Pepsi 300 (including all 2008 races) are on sale now; and include admission to the post race concert featuring Third Day. Tickets are available now by calling toll-free 1-866-RACE-TIX or online at www.nashvillesuperspeedway.com.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(1-10-2008)
- Old Nashville track in trouble? Nashville attorney Keith Moorman, who lives nearby Motor City Speedway, imagines a new place less than three miles from downtown. The 117 acres would teem with public parkland, a mix of homes and offices and shops with landscaped sidewalks and a walking trail along Browns Creek. The Tennessee State Fair and Music City Motorplex? They would move to less populated parts of town. Motorplex executives have their own ideas. In exchange for a 30- to 50-year lease, they say, they would develop amenities such as a baseball stadium, amphitheater, indoor water park, hotel and conference center, entertainment-retail development and motorsports hall of fame.
Those are among many ideas that consultants hired by the state fair will review starting next week. They will look at the best long-term use for the fairgrounds and report back in the spring, said James Weaver, a member of the Tennessee State Fair Board of Commissioners, part of Metro Nashville government. Some 700 people weighed in on a fair board Web site earlier this year with ideas ranging from horse racing, an amusement park and affordable housing to a farmers market, condominiums and a baseball stadium. About 300 people said the motorplex's NASCAR racetrack should stay, while about 130 wanted "anything but" that, said Bill Whitson, interim executive director of the state fair. The consultants, HOK Sport Venue Event and Markin Consulting, will hold a series of public meetings starting in January, Weaver said. Moorman, who has lived in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood and dealt with the Saturday-night noise of the racetrack for eight years, says the fairgrounds are unsightly. As the city has grown outward over the past 100 years, he says, the grounds have made less and less sense where they are. Executives at the Music City Motorplex have made a pitch for a 30- to 50-year lease from the city after their existing five-year agreement expires late next year. They say they could manage all of the amenities that they envision for the site. Joe Mattioli, president and owner of the motorplex, said the projects would be worth $200 million to $300 million. Mattioli and Norm Partin, the motorplex's general manager, said the site is historic. It has hosted some kind of motorsports since 1904, and visitors spend millions of dollars each year on Nashville's hotel rooms and restaurants.(Tennessean) and see more info at musiccitymotorplex.com and savenashvillespeedway.com.(12-17-2007)
- Nashville Single Race Tix on sale Monday: Nashville Superspeedway will sell single event tickets for the 2007 race season beginning Monday, January 8. Tickets will be available at the Nashville Superspeedway Ticket Office or by calling 1-866-RACE-TIX. Tickets will also be sold on-line at nashvillesuperspeedway.com. Nashville Superspeedway's seventh racing season begins Saturday, April 7 with the Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch Series race.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(1-5-2007)
- DW to serve as Grand Marshal for Nashville Truck Series race: Nashville Superspeedway will play host to the Toyota Tundra 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday afternoon, August 13 and racing legend Darrell Waltrip will serve as Grand Marshal for the race. Waltrip will be joined by more than 9,000 Toyota employees from around the nation for the second annual "homecoming" event to celebrate the Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Toyota Tundra 200 tickets include the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at 1 p.m., the Toyota Tundra 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at 4:15 p.m., and the Capitol Records Post Race Concert featuring Chris Cagle 15 minutes after the checkered flag. Tickets are available by calling toll-free 1-866-RACE-TIX or on-line at www.nashvillesuperspeedway.com.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(8-4-2005)
- Elliott at Nashville: One of the most popular drivers in the history of NASCAR racing and 1988 NEXTEL Cup champion, Bill Elliott, will compete under the lights in the upcoming Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series event at the Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, June 11. Elliott will run in the Rusty Wallace Inc.-owned #64 Dodge and will be making his first appearance at a Nashville venue since the late 1980s at the old Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. This will be Elliott's first appearance at the 1.33-mile concrete oval. For tickets please go to www.nashvillesuperspeedway.com or call 1-866-RACE-TIX.(Nashville Superspeedway)(4-20-2005)
- Nashville sale denied; no plans to move Dover race to Nashville: Dover Motorsports President and CEO Denis McGlynn said he has no plans to sell Nashville Superspeedway but stopped short of denying that it has been discussed. ''We don't have any plans to sell Nashville,'' McGlynn said earlier this week in response to recent reports that the five-year-old, $125 million track is being shopped. Asked if he has talked with representatives from any group — including International Speedway Corporation — about a possible sale, McGlynn would say only: ''We talk to a lot of people about a lot of things.'' Reports of a possible sale of the Nashville track to ISC circulated last weekend at Bristol. Yesterday ISC spokesman David Talley said, ''We don't comment on rumors. Right now we are focused on our Pacific Northwest and New York projects.'' McGlynn also denied reports that NASCAR is pressuring Dover to move one of its two annual Nextel Cup races from Dover (Del.) International Speedway to Nashville Superspeedway.(Tennessean)(4-6-2005)
- No Nextel Cup in Nashville: Read his lips: There will not be Nextel Cup racing in Nashville, now or probably ever. Bill France Jr. refuses to sugarcoat it, but that’s the way it is and it doesn’t look like NASCAR will change its mind anytime soon. Those words are awfully hard to swallow for those dyed in the wool gear-heads who keep hoping the big tour will return to the Nashville area after a two-plus decade absence. The former Czar of stock car racing, in our town [Nashville] over the weekend for the opening night of the Music City Motorplex, spoke bluntly but honestly about exactly where Nashville stands in NASCAR’s grand plan. And it’s not in the sport’s fast lane. “Nashville is a great market, but our problem is two pounds in a one-pound bag,” France said. “The Dover people (the owners of NSS) knew that when they built the track, that we weren’t going to be able to jump in at all. If you’re going to become a national sport then you have to do something besides racing in the southeast,” he said. France drove NASCAR to that goal, which translated into a $2.4 billion multi-network deal. Even ESPN, which lost NASCAR, is ready to pony up huge dollars to get back into the race. France, who turned over his presidency to Mike Helton and was succeeded in 1993 as CEO and Chairman by his son Brian, has long emphasized the value of growing in the major markets, which further emphasizes how Nashville devolved into a triple-A racing town. “One of our biggest cities that watches our sport is New York City,” he explained. “The rating might not be all that many but a 2.0 in New York is a lot more homes, a lot more eyeballs than with maybe a 10.0 in Louisville.” Some rumors are circulating about Nashville possibly landing a midweek Nextel event, but France explained that with a full calendar there are just not enough hours in a week.(Nashville City Paper)(3-24-2005)
- Nashville getting SAFER: Nashville Superspeedway Vice President and General Manager Cliff Hawks says you can't put a price tag on safety. Not even if that tag is $875,000. That's how much Dover Motorsports will spend installing new ''soft walls'' at the 1.3-mile Superspeedway. Work will start this month, and Hawks said the project will be completed in time for his track's March 26 season opener. NASCAR requires all tracks that hold Nextel Cup races to have the soft walls in place for the 2005 season, but they are not mandatory at tracks where lower-division races are run. Since the Superspeedway has no Cup race, the soft walls are not mandatory. So why spend the money if they don't have to? ''Because it's the right thing to do,'' Hawks said. ''This is an extremely fast race track and we feel it is necessary to do everything we can to protect our drivers. Clearly the SAFER walls offer protection in the event of a crash.''(Tennessean)(12-1-2004)
- Campbell to examine Nashville: Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said he plans to go to Nashville Superspeedway on Tuesday and examine that concrete track. Portions of the concrete corners came apart during last weekend's Cup race at Martinsville, and Campbell is looking into whether a small section needs to be repaired or the entire concrete sections redone. The concrete for the lower groove was poured in 1976. The second groove was poured in 1981 at Martinsville. Nashville's concrete was poured in the fall of 2000. The Busch series raced there earlier this month. "Nashville seems really smooth, nice with a lots of grip," said Robby Gordon, who finished fifth in the Busch race there. Any new work done might require a Goodyear test, but a Goodyear official said he didn't anticipate the company needing to make a new tire for Martinsville.(Roanoke Times)(4-25-2004)
- More on the future schedule; Nashville and Kentucky maybe? Speculation about NASCAR's 2005 and 2006 Nextel tour schedules continues, and NASCAR executives are now trying to cool prospects of an expansion beyond a 36-race Cup tour. But it appears that Daytona officials are planning to add new tracks to the tour by cutting some current tracks back to a single event. The two tracks being closely watched now are Nashville and Kentucky, which have held Busch races for several years. Among reasons for holding off on any expansion - sponsors might be unwilling to spend any more money on extra races, at least not until TV ratings start going back up. Plus, TV said it's not able to sell enough ads to make money on the current package of 36 Cup races and two special events. While Fox may be comfortable with its half of the tour (Phoenix and Kansas would likely be the only two new stops), the second half of the schedule is more problematic, particularly with NASCAR reportedly wooing ABC-ESPN for part of that schedule, depending on what NBC does.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-25-2004)
- Once again....No Cup for Nashville: NASCAR President Mike Helton yesterday echoed Bill France Jr.'s bleak forecast for Nashville's hopes of landing a Nextel Cup race. During a visit to Music City Motorplex last week France said the schedule is full and trying add more races would be ''like trying to put two pounds in a one-pound bag.'' Helton was at Nashville Superspeedway yesterday for the Busch Series Pepsi 300. He complimented Dover Motorsports, which owns and operates the track, and said he likes Nashville, but ... ''Nothing has changed in the past week,'' Helton said with a smile. Nashville lost its two premier races in 1984. There has been speculation that NASCAR might consolidate two non-points races — the Budweiser Shootout and the Nextel Cup Challenge — and hold them on weeks at when races are also scheduled. That would free up two weekends. ''It is being debated and will continue to be debated,'' Helton said. ''But I don't see any significant changes next season.'' It has also been speculated that additional schedule shakeups may be in store for North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham and Darlington (S.C.) Speedway. Helton said the 2005 schedule will be released this summer.(Tennessean)(4-11-2004)
- No Cup for Nashville? NASCAR's Bill France Jr. won't entirely rule out Nashville getting a Nextel Cup race sometime in the future, but makes it clear that the prospects are not promising. ''Right now it's like trying to put two pounds in a one-pound bag — the schedule is full,'' France said last night during a visit to Music City Motorplex [in Nashvile] where he served as honorary starter for the 49th season opener. NASCAR dropped Nashville from its top division in 1984 amid track management problems, and France said it was business, not personal. France noted, the aging Fairgrounds facility got behind the times, got left behind by NASCAR's national explosion, and now has little chance to catch back up. Not only is the schedule crowded now, but if and when another race is added it won't be in the saturated South.(Tennessean)(4-4-2004)
- Sponsor extends with Nashville SS: Sponsorship extension: PFG Lester, the nation's third-largest foodservice distributor, has extended its partnership with Nashville Superspeedway through 2006 and will sponsor the track's two annual ARCA races. All the track's races now have corporate sponsorships: Two NASCAR Busch Series races (Pepsi 300, Federated Auto Parts 300), the Indy Racing League (Firestone Indy 200) and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (Toyota Tundra 200). ''During a period when we're seeing cutbacks in some sports sponsorships, our corporate partnerships remain very strong,'' said Cliff Hawks, the track's vice president and general manager. Nashville Superspeedway opens its fourth season April 9-10 with Busch and ARCA races. For ticket information call 1-866-RACE-TIX or visit www.nashvillesuperspeedway.com.(Tennessean)
AND Nashville Superspeedway recently announced that the “Official Artist of NASCAR” Sam Bass and Gibson Guitar have partnered to create one of the most coveted and unique trophies in NASCAR: The Sam Bass Designed Gibson Les Paul Guitar. "I think the idea of giving a customized guitar as a NASCAR trophy in the capital of country music is one of the coolest ideas anyone's had in racing,” Sam Bass said. “I'm honored to be teamed up again with Gibson and the Nashville Superspeedway for the 2004 race season.”
The beautiful, classic model six-string Gibson Les Paul guitar depicts the excitement of a colorful stock car seemingly speeding right off into the winner's hand! The one-of-a-kind guitar also features the Nashville skyline and the most-recognizable Nashville Superspeedway musically-theme logo. Race fans will see a race winner holding the guitar in Victory Lane eight times in 2004; and single-event tickets for Nashville Superspeedway’s 2004 Season are on sale now.(2-18-2004)
- Toyota to Sponsor Truck race: Toyota Motor Sales USA and the Nashville Superspeedway, a Dover Motorsports Inc. facility, have reached a multi-year sponsorship agreement in which Toyota will become the racetrack's Official Vehicle and title sponsor of its NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The "Toyota Tundra 200" race weekend is the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event sponsored by Toyota. "The relationship with Toyota will take our NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race to an entirely new level both in attendance and sponsorship," Nashville Superspeedway Vice President & General Manger Cliff Hawks said. "We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to work closely with the Middle Tennessee Toyota Dealers and Toyota's major manufacturing facilities." The sponsorship agreement will include involvement with Toyota Manufacturing Facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, and the new Toyota plant scheduled to open in Jackson, Tennessee in 2005. "Toyota is pleased to enter into this sponsorship agreement with the Nashville Superspeedway," said Toyota National Motorsports Manager Les Unger. "This will afford an excellent opportunity to showcase the NASCAR Tundra trucks to tens of thousands of dedicated fans, Toyota associates and dealership personnel." While the Toyota Tundra race trucks will make their NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in 2004 at the Daytona International Speedway, Toyota has a 30 year history of involvement in motorsports. Toyota has sponsored the Dover Motorsports-owned Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, California, a CART event, since 1975 and sponsors two Indycar Series events including the Toyota Indy 300 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and the Toyota Indy 400 at the California Speedway. "Team members at our Indiana truck plant were excited by the news earlier this year that our Tundra would enter the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series; and sponsoring the 'Toyota Tundra 200' adds to that excitement ," Vice President of Administration and Manufacturing Planning at Toyota Manufacturing R.J. Reynolds said. "Having visited the Nashville track earlier this year, I came away feeling we could find no better place to be involved as the official vehicle and title sponsor of a race."
The "Toyota Tundra 200" NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is scheduled for Saturday, August 14, 2004 and will also feature the ARCA RE/MAX Series and a major concert. Tickets will go on sale early 2004.(NashvilleSuperspeedway PR)(10-16-2003)
- Trucks back to Fairgrounds? Joe Mattioli, the new president of Fairgrounds Speedway, may try to bring NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing back to the track. ''It's something I'll take a look at, at some point,'' said Mattioli, who officially took control of the track yesterday. ''My first order of business will be to get our weekly racing series in order. We've got a lot of work to do between now and the time we open next spring,'' he said.(Tennessean)(10-3-2003)
- Ford to Celebrate at Nashville: On April 17, 2004, the Ford Mustang will officially celebrate its 40th anniversary. Fortunately, the date falls on a Saturday, perfect for the Mustang Club of America's official Mustang 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tennessee, on April 15-18, 2004. Past Mustang Anniversary Celebrations in 1994 and 1999 have been held at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. Final details for the gala are still being put together, but the MCA has provided pertinent details for anyone who wants to make advance travel plans. According to event chairman Jim Chism, this is one event you won't want to miss.
Scheduled activities at Nashville Superspeedway include an open track (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), concours judging (limited to 300 cars), Judges Choice show (with space for 3,000 cars), and a huge vendor midway. Also planned is a Saturday Evening with FORD on the General Jackson Showboat cruise, which will take 600 attendees down the Cumberland River to downtown Nashville and back. Included will be a cocktail hour before the cruise, dinner, entertainment, and after-dinner speakers and dignitaries from FORD. On Friday night, the MCA has arranged a special package for Mustangers (limited to 1,000) at the Grand Ole Opry.
The official 40th Anniversary Celebration hotel is the Gaylord Opryland, a fun-filled resort with over 2,800 rooms and lavish surroundings. Reservations can be made online by going to the Mustang 40th Anniversary Celebration page at the MCA website, www.mustang.org. Or you can call the Gaylord Opryland reservations department at 877-234-6779. Be sure to mention the Mustang Club 40th Anniversary.
Like previous milestones, the Mustang 40th Anniversary Celebration will be the event of the year! To register your Mustang for the show
or open track, request a brochure from: Mustang 40th Anniversary Celebration, PO Box 51505, Bowling Green, KY 42102.
The FORD Motor Company will be launching the all new 2005 Mustang to coincide with the event and should have many of the new cars here for all the world to see. Many FORD dignitaries will be on hand for the event and attending our Evening with FORD Banquet. Plans are in the works to have William Clay "Bill" Ford as the keynote speaker. Plans are also in the works to have Jack Roush and his NASCAR FORD racing team participating in some capacity during the four day FORD extravaganza.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(10-1-2003)
- Nashville Not Selling: Even though Nashville Superspeedway wasn't sold out for last Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race, Denis McGlynn, said he is comfortable with the track's progress and denied reports that it might be for sale. ''We don't have any plans along that line,'' said McGlynn, president of Dover Motorsports, which owns and operates the track. ''Making a track successful takes patience, and we're going to stick with it.'' There have been reports that Speedway Motorsports Inc. or International Speedway Corporation might purchase the 3-year-old track.(Tennessean)(6-12-2003)
- Nashville Title Sposnor for Busch race in June: On the heels of a successful and thrilling Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch Series race, Nashville Superspeedway and Capitol Records representatives announced today that the title sponsor for the Saturday night, June 7 NASCAR Busch Series race will be the Trace Adkins Chrome 300. Trace Adkins Chrome 300 tickets are on sale today by calling toll-free 1-866-RACE-TIX. Chrome, the second gold album by Capitol Recording Artist Trace Adkins, which features the hit songs "Chrome," "I'm Tryin'," and "Help Me Understand" has continued to make Trace Adkins a household name in the country music genre. His debut album released in 1996, Dreamin' Outloud, was certified platinum and registered a string of hits early on. Capitol Records will release Trace Adkins Greatest Hits, Volume 1 containing 12 of Trace's greatest hits from his four previous albums and his latest hit single, "Then They Do" on Tuesday, July 8. "I've been a big fan of racing for as long as I can remember and have watched NASCAR on TV since I was a kid," Adkins said. "So you can imagine how honored I am to have a race with my name on it at the Nashville Superspeedway." As part of the Trace Adkins Chrome 300 NASCAR Busch Series night race, Adkins will perform live from the front straight Saturday, June 7 at 4:45 p.m. The pre race activities begin at 5:45 p.m. and the green flag waves at 7 p.m. Adkins will also serve as the Grand Marshal and sing the national anthem. "The Nashville Superspeedway has enjoyed a really good working relationship with the country music industry " Nashville Superspeedway Vice President and General Manager Cliff Hawks said. "Capitol Records has made this title sponsorship a reality and we appreciate them bringing Trace Adkins in concert before our NASCAR Busch Series night race." Adkins joins an already impressive list of artists who have performed at the superspeedway including: John Michael Montgomery, Jo Dee Messina, Brad Paisley, Lee Greenwood, Chely Wright, Sherri Austin, Craig Morgan, and Anita Cochran. "The Nashville Superspeedway is an impressively run organization and a first-class racing facility," Capitol Records vice president of Marketing Fletcher Foster said. "Capitol Records sees the unlimited opportunities associated with the superspeedway and bringing the Trace Adkins Chrome 300 title sponsor to the NASCAR Busch Series night race is hopefully just the beginning." The Trace Adkins Chrome 300 NASCAR Busch Series race will be Saturday, June 7 at 7 p.m. live on FoxFX. On Friday night, June 6 at 8 p.m. is the Bob Harmon Memorial Sunbelt Rentals Southeast Kodak Series All Pro 125. Tickets are on sale for both of these races by calling toll-free 1-866-RACE-TIX or visit online at www.nashvillesuperspeedway.com.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(4-26-2003)
- Pocono Raceway owner looking at Fairgrounds Speedway? Joe Mattioli plans to make another attempt to gain control of Fairgrounds Speedway [in Nashville]. Mattioli, who lost his bid against Bob Harmon for the track lease a decade ago, will return to Nashville next week to ''look around, ask some questions'' and discuss the bidding process. The State Fair Board will offer a five-year lease when the second of two one-year contracts with Dennis Grau expires this fall. Grau intends to bid on the new lease. ''I've always liked the Nashville track,'' said Mattioli, a former president of Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, which is owned and operated by his family. Mattioli is starting his fourth season as operator of South Boston Speedway in VA. He and two partners are exploring building a $27 million motorsports complex in West Virginia that will include weekly short-track racing.(Tennessean)(3-20-2003)
- Country Singer promotes Nashville Superspeedway: Nashville Superspeedway unveiled a promotion video for the 2003 race season and a special guest -- county music star Chely Wright. The MCA Nashville artist has charted five number one country singles and a budding race fan. "I am really excited that Chely has agreed to help promote our 2003 season," Nashville Superspeedway Vice President & General manager Cliff Hawks said. "She is a sports fan and just a lot of fun to be around." Wright will also perform the National Anthem live on national television before the Pepsi 300 which is scheduled for Saturday, April 12. Nashville Superspeedway Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch Series tickets are on sale now by calling toll-free 1-866-RACE-TIX. As part of the ticket price, race fans will experience several activities including the pre race show, free concerts, Party Place Kidz Zone, Expo Row, Autograph Sessions, Fan Walk, and the all-new Super Midway.(Wilson World)(2-19-2003)
- No More NASCAR at Fairgrounds: Fairgrounds [formerly Nashville Speedway] Speedway President Dennis Grau has decided not to continue the track's NASCAR affiliation, primarily to cut costs that last season totaled $50,000 for NASCAR sanction fees and related expenses. Grau also resents NASCAR putting more premier races on night-time television, drawing away fans at a time when local racing is struggling to survive. Dropping the affiliation will not change the racing divisions at Fairgrounds. Fairgrounds Speedway had been one of about 100 tracks that participated in NASCAR's weekly racing series. Few, in any, have had a longer association with NASCAR.(Tennessean)(2-2-2003)
- Old Nashville Speedway [now Fairgrounds Speedway] to drop NASCAR? Fairgrounds Speedway President Dennis Grau is on the verge of discontinuing the 45-year-old track's NASCAR affiliation. Grau has been debating the decision for months and this week said he is leaning toward dropping the sanction. Grau said he doubts that the benefits NASCAR offers a weekly racing program are worth the annual $50,000 sanction fee. Grau said he has discussed dropping NASCAR with several drivers and none has voiced any objections. There have been brief periods in the track's past when it was not NASCAR-sanctioned. Fairgrounds Speedway's dropping NASCAR will have no bearing on NASCAR's relationship with Nashville Superspeedway, which runs two annual Busch Series race and a Craftsman Truck Series event.(Tennessean)(1-16-2003)
- Mayfield tests at Nashville UPDATE: #19-Jeremy Mayfield tested at Nashville Superspeedway on Tuesday and Wednesday and had this to say: "I think it's a great track, it's very quick, tons of grip and I plan to spread the word to other drivers. I think our Dodge team has learned a great deal testing here on this fantastic concrete track that we'll use the rest of the season. I definitely plan to return here to test. The facility is tops, the staff are some of the friendliest and best around anywhere. I think Nashville could do super with some kind of Cup event for sure. When I tell all the other Cup drivers how incredibly smooth this track is, they'll want to come and test here too I think. It's one of the smoothest, not slick, that I've ever tested on, it's truly a great place."(6-6-2002)
UPDATE: Former Fairgrounds Speedway driver Jer-emy Mayfield practiced a Dodge R&D (research and development) Winston Cup car yesterday at Nashville Superspeedway. ''This is my first look at the track and I'm really impressed,'' Mayfield said. ''It's a good smooth racing surface and the rest of the facility looks great.'' Mayfield, a teammate of Nashville's Casey Atwood and veteran Bill Elliott with Evernham Motorsports, said all three teams ''are making good progress and we all get along great. There's no political stuff between any of the teams.''(Tennessean)(6-6-2002)
- No TRAC at Nashville: Nashville Superspeedway said thanks but no thanks to a radical new racing league that wanted to compete there. Officials from Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC) met recently with Dover Motorsports to discuss the possibility of holding some races on the Superspeedway when the new series starts next year, but were turned down.(Tennessean)(5-2-2002)
- Fewer Seats at Nashville: Nashville Superspeedway has decided to have only 40,000 seats for its April 11-13 opening weekend races, 10,000 fewer than it had for last year's inaugural event. ''I'm not disappointed,'' said Cliff Hawks, the track's vice president and general manager. ''I think we're going to have a great crowd, and when we combine the attendance of our two Busch races [the second scheduled June 8] I'm optimistic that we'll draw more total fans than we did last year.'' The Superspeedway has 25,000 permanent grandstand seats. Last year it added another 25,000 temporary seats for the season-opening Busch Series race, which failed to sell out.(Tennessean)(4-3-2002)
- New Name and Site: Nashville Speedway USA has changed it's name to Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville and has a new website address: www.fairgroundsspeedway.net.(1-29-2002)
- Nashville Delays Expansion: Dover Downs Entertainment has indefinitely suspended plans to build a drag racing strip and a dirt-racing track adjacent to Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County. The decision comes on the heels of a canceled multimillion-dollar short track at the complex. That plan was scrapped because the Fair Board unexpectedly decided to continue operation of Nashville Speedway at the Fairgrounds.(Tennessean)(11-29-2001)
- Nashville gets 2nd BGN race: ESPN2's RPM 2Night reported Wednesday that Nashville Superspeedway was awarded a 2nd BGN race for the 2002 season, scheduled for a night race on Saturday, June 8th(7-26-2001)
- No new Nashville Superspeedway short track? The future of Nashville's longest-running professional sport — weekly stock car racing — grows murkier by the day, and a new short track originally planned adjacent to Nashville Superspeedway may not be built. Dover Downs Entertainment's lease with the State Fairgrounds expires in Sept. 2002, at which time DDE president Denis McGlynn had expected the historic old 5/8-mile track to cease operation. He planned to have a new short track in place at Nashville Superspeedway to take over the weekly Saturday night races. However, Fair Director Jennifer Hill said she has been approached by ''several persons'' interested in operating the Fairgrounds track when Dover's lease expires. McGlynn said if that happens, he will not invest ''millions of dollars'' in a new short track which would be forced to compete with the old Fairgrounds track for drivers and fans(Tennessean)(7-25-2001)
- Nashville President Ill: Bob Harmon, President of Nashville Speedway USA and NASCAR Gatorade All Pro Series Promotional Consultant underwent successful heart bypass surgery Wednesday morning June 20. Harmon, 69, of Prattville, Al, had double bypass surgery performed at Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery, AL(Nashville Speedway USA PR)(6-21-2001)
- Nashville and Winston Cup? No? How about the Winston? The question didn't take long to come up Wednesday, and NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. offered the best "non-answer" he could. Asked about the chances for the new Nashville Superspeedway to land a slot on the Winston Cup schedule, France showed off the skills perfected while running NASCAR for nearly three decades. "Mike Helton does the scheduling. He's not here," France said of NASCAR's president. "Right now all we've got done is the 2001 schedule. We'll probably be starting to work on 2002 before too long. "I'm giving you kind of a non-answer, but that's the best I can do right now."(Sporting News/AP)
AND: Bill France yesterday was largely noncommittal in terms of the future Winston Cup prospects for $125 million Nashville Superspeedway, which holds its inaugural races this weekend. But he did hint at the possibility the track may get to host The Winston — NASCAR's annual Winston Cup ''all-star'' race. ''We might have something to say about The Winston soon ... that's just a tidbit,'' France said with a smile.(Tennessean)(4-12-2001)
- Nashville Open House: The new Nashville Superspeedway's open house tomorrow(Sat Apr 7th) is expected to draw between 10,000 to 15,000 people eager to get a look at the racing complex that will host its first major race April 14. The 50,000-seat facility, located along State Route 840 in Wilson County near the Rutherford County line, will be open for visitors from 10:00am to 3:00pm/et(Tennessean). For more info see the Nashville Superspeedway site(4-6-2001)
- Nashville Gets First Test: Shawna Robinson and Tim Steele made local racing history yesterday by becoming the first drivers to make test runs at Nashville Superspeedway. Not only is the 1.3-mile track brand new, it has a race concrete surface(Tennessean), no speeds reported(3-6-2001)
- Nashville and Safety: Officials at the new Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County say they will take every precaution to make the Busch race April 14 as safe as possible. Safety concerns have become an even bigger issue in the wake of Dale Earnhardt's death after a wreck in Sunday's Daytona 500. More at the Tenneseean(2-20-2001)
- Nashville Tix: Nashville Superspeedway season tickets go on sale today at 547-RACE or 1-866-RACE-TIX. The $125 million Wilson County racing complex is nearing completion for its April 13 opener, with an unveiling of the 50,000-seat grandstands set for tomorrow at noon.(Tennessean)(1-22-2001)
- Ford and Nashville: The Middle Tennessee Ford Dealers have reached agreement with Nashville Superspeedway to make Ford the Official Vehicle of Tennessee's longest racing "D" oval track. The three-year deal includes all races at the track beginning with the 2001 inaugural season(Ford PR)(12-14-2000)
- Nashville Story: The final big-time race will be run Sunday at Nashville Speedway where, for almost a half-century, the Who's Who of racing have roared into battle. The curtain won't fall completely on the Fairgrounds facility. Weekly Saturday night races will continue for at least two more years. But starting next season all the major races will be moved to gleaming new Nashville Superspeedway. See full story at the Tennessean: Nashville Speedway waves white flag by Larry Woody(11-3-2000)
- Nashville Tix: Nashville Superspeedway general manager Cliff Hawks said there was no intent to mislead fans who thought they could buy single-race tickets -- rather than the more expensive season-ticket packages -- to next year's races at the new facility. Hawks recently promised to make sure single-race tickets will be available, even if it means installing additional, temporary beachers at the 50,000-seat track in Wilson County(TN)(Tennessean) and see separate story at: Superspeedway builds trust with fans from the Tennessean by Larry Woody(10-25-2000)
- Nashville Tix Hot: but they are not even printed or being sold yet...see the full story at the Tennessean: New Nashville track draws interest(9-22-2000)
- Nashville Speedway Looking: On Saturday, August 12, Nashville Speedway USA will host it's 5th CTS race and will celebrate the heritage and tradition of the historic track. Race fans will be able to see a tent display showcasing the historic Nashville Speedway USA from 1904 to present. The new Nashville Superspeedway is located on more than 1,200 acres in Wilson County and is scheduled to open in April 2001. It is owned and operated by Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc and will host the CTS race in 2001 and beyondm while the Nashville Speedway will continue to hold the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series for the next two years. As part of the display, Nashville Speedway USA officials are seeking memorabilia including: Motorcycles and historic race cars that competed at the Nashville Speedway; Uniforms, helmets, trophies, touring series programs, souvenirs; Driver keepsakes; Historical photos and videos; and Old Nashville Speedway logos, see the Nashville Speedway Site for more info(8-8-2000)
- Nashville Suites Gone: Three weeks into its sales pitch, Nashville Superspeedway has leased all 18 available luxury suites and a waiting list already has 15 names on it, general manager Cliff Hawks said(Tennessean)(7-26-2000)
- Nashville Praised: Local NASCAR drivers praise Nashville Superspeedway by Chip Cirillo(Tennessean)(6-22-2000)
- Nashville, Homestead and Gateway gets IRL races: The IRL on Sunday announced its 2001 schedule, which includes a race at Nashville Superspeedway on July 21 to be televised on ESPN. The 50,000-seat facility in Wilson County is scheduled to open in April(Tennessean)
AND The Grand Prix of Miami will have a new look and feel when the race returns to South Florida next Spring as the Indy Racing Northern Light Series becomes the new sanctioning body for the event, Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray announced Monday. The Grand Prix of Miami is set for April 8, 2001(Homestead Miami Site)
AND Less than a week after Gateway officials learned that CART would not return to the facility in Madison after this September's race, the Indy Racing League filled the void. The IRL will stage a 300-mile event on Gateway's 1.25-mile oval on Aug. 26, 2001 and will be televised nationally by ESPN(St Louis Post Dispatch)(6-20-2000)
- Race Dates? NASCAR officials say that Dover Downs won't be allowed to move a Winston Cup date from here to the company's new track near Nashville because it's too close to Talladega and Indianapolis, according to track sources. However, International Speedway Corporation officials are expected to move Darlington Raceway's spring Cup date to California Speedway for the 2002 season. That ISC move would be prelude to NASCAR telling Bruton Smith to do likewise, moving a date from one of his own tracks, if he wants a second Cup date(at Texas or Vegas). However, NASCAR has already told Smith he can't move the Cup date from Sears Point(PitNow)(6-5-2000)
- Nashville News: Amid the grunts and groans of giant earth-moving equipment, one of the nation's more diverse motorsports complexes is quickly taking form. Nashville Superspeedway is almost ready for paving. The 1.3-mile track is one of six racetracks that are part of the $125 million project. The superspeedway showpiece will be ready for racing in early April 2001, project coordinator Barry Brooke said(Tennessean)(6-8-2000)
- Nashville and Cup? story: Superspeedway investor convinced Nashville can get Cup race by Larry Woody of the Tennessean(5-22-2000)
- Kentucky Beats Nashville: Next month Nashville will officially lose the racetrack race. Jerry Carroll's 70,000-seat, $152 million Kentucky Speedway is scheduled to open June 16. Carroll's track will cross the finish line almost a year ahead of new 50,000-seat, $125 million Nashville Superspeedway. Originally scheduled to be up and running this spring, various delays have pushed the Wilson County track's opening back to next April. See full story at the Tennessean by Larry Woody(5-5-2000)
- Nashville Seats: The new Nasville Superspeedway track initially will have only 50,000 seats (25,000 permanent, 25,000 portable), which is about one-third of the number needed to accommodate a Winston Cup crowd. Those 50,000 seats should be sufficient for a Busch Series race, however, which will be the track's big event next season. That's why they are designing new $125 million Nashville Superspeedway to accommodate 150,000 seats in the future -- just in case they get a Winston Cup race(Tennessean)(4-14-2000)
- Nashville: Yesterday's BellSouth Mobility 320 was the last big NASCAR race for Nashville Speedway. Next year's NASCAR Busch Series race will be run at new $125 million Nashville Superspeedway. The track will open with 50,000 seats and can expand to 150,000(Tennessean)(4-9-2000)
- Nashville News: a report on the status of the new Nashville Superspeedway at RacinDeals, including this: Most of the tracks that NASCAR has added to the Winston Cup circuit over the last few years have been "cookie-cutter" tracks. California is based on Michigan, Texas and Atlanta are based on Charlotte, etc. Not the new Nashville Superspeedway. While it will be the same length as Darlington (1.3 miles), the banking in the turns will be 14 degrees, and it will be a D-shaped oval. Oh yeah, the surface will be concrete. So there really isn't another track like it anywhere(RacinDeals)(4-7-2000)
- Nashville News: BellSouth Mobility will return for a sixth season as corporate sponsor of Nashville Speedway's April 8 BGN race, likely the last major NASCAR event at the aging Fairgrounds facility. Next year's BGN race will be moved to new Nashville Superspeedway, assuming construction remains on schedule for the $125 million Wilson County track. The official announcement of the renewed BellSouth Mobility sponsorship will be made Tuesday, Mar 7th a press conference at the downtown NASCAR Cafe. Three generations of drivers -- Coo Coo, Sterling and Steadman Marlin -- are scheduled to attend the press conference. Both Cool Coo and Sterling are past Nashville Speedway champions. Steadman will attempt to make his first BGN start in next month's TNN-televised race. Also scheduled to be on hand for the press conference is Kenny Irwin, Sterling Marlin's Winston Cup teammate, whose car is sponsored by BellSouth(Tennessean)(3-7-2000)
- Nashville/Dover? The new Nashville(TN) area speedway, being built east of the city, could be ready for testing by late summer or early fall. The speedway is owned by the same company that owns Dover Downs, and there have been indications that the company might move one of its two Winston Cup tour dates from Dover to Nashville(Pitnow) Note: most comments I have heard from Dover Downs officials is that they have no plans to move one of the Cup races from Dover. Also see a story on the Nashville track at: Nashville Business Journal - Busch series success key for speedway(2-15-2000)
- New Nashville Update: the work on the new $125 million Nashville Superspeedway is on schedule so far and expected to be ready for the 2001 season. Developer Dennis McGlynn said workers have removed 3.9 million cubic yards of bedrock, with 700,000 more to go. If the track meets its scheduled 2001 opening deadline, that will mean that the April 8 NASCAR Busch Series race will be the last one run at Nashville Speedway. Plans are to immediately move the premier Busch race to the new track(Tennessean)(2-6-2000)
- Nashville News: The $125 million motorsports complex being built in Wilson County, TN is scheduled to be ready for racing in the spring of 2001 and during a tour last week, developer Denis McGlynn was told the project is right on schedule. The next step for McGlynn is to try to land a premier Winston Cup race for his track(Tennessean)(10-27-1999)
- Nashville News: A hearing is scheduled Sept. 28 in Lebanon on a suit intended to halt construction on $125 million Nashville Superspeedway. An anti-track group claims that proper notification was not issued prior to a zoning vote on the Wilson County property. The anti-track side also has attempted to create an environmental roadblock over wild flowers which grow in the area(Tennessean)(9-21-1999)
- Nashville Speedway news: Gaylord Entertainment has discontinued its partnership with Dover (Del.) Downs Entertainment in a $125 million area superspeedway, but Dover Downs president Denis McGlynn said the split was amicable and will not adversely affect the project. See full story at: Gaylord backs out of Superspeedway deal by Larry Woody of the Tennessean(7-20-1999)
- Nashville Name: Local identity goal as name for track by Larry Woody of the Tennessean(7-7-1999)
- Nashville News: Due to various delays, the new superspeedway in Wilson County(near Nashville, TN) won't open until the 2001 season, a year later than originally scheduled, developer Denis McGlynn said. The $125 million track was supposed to be ready for racing next spring, but due to various delays, McGlynn said the opening has been pushed back a year(Tennessean)(4-20-1999)
- Nashville News: Legislation clearing the way for construction of the Nashville SuperSpeedway in Wilson County(Tenn) passed in the House and Senate last night and was sent to Gov. Don Sundquist for his signature. The legislation permits the Wilson County Sports Authority to raise $15 million for public improvements through a 30-year debt repayment system. Dover Downs Entertainment wants to build a 50,000-seat superspeedway near Gladeville at an estimated cost of $125 million. See the rest of the article at the Tennessean - Financing passes for Wilson racetrack and an article at the Nashville Speedway Site - I Back the Track(3-9-1999)
- Nashville Track Article: Plenty of communities would be delighted to land such a prize. The racetrack will be a national sports attraction as well as an economic bonanza for the area. But in Wilson County, it has been one headache after another for Denis McGlynn, head of Dover Downs Entertainment, which is behind the project. See the complete article at Opposition waves another caution for new track (The Tennessean)(2-22-1999)
- Nashville Trouble: Three Wilson County residents have joined 500 members of Speedway Residents Against Speedway Havoc (CRASH) to take legal aim at stopping development of a racetrack in Wilson County. See the complete story at Wilson group files suit to halt track(Daily News Journal)(2-17-1999)
- Nashville and Cup? Story at the Tennessean - Winston Cup possibly in Nashville's future(12-28-98)
- Nashville Speedway Approved: A $125 million auto racing complex was given the green light by the Wilson County Commission last night despite pleas from some county residents and commissioners opposing the development. The commission voted 22-3 to approve rezoning of about 1,200 acres for the proposed 50,000-seat superspeedway. See the complete story at the Tennessean - Zoning approved for racetrack and another story at the site - Speedway coming to Wilson County, Also see I Back The Track on the Nashville Speedway site(12-22-98)
- Nashville Speedway Article: at the Tennessean - Foes, friends mounting attacks. Also see I Back The Track on the Nashville Speedway site(12-21-98)
- Nashville Speedway News: The Nashville Speedway Site has a "I Back The Track" section with all the latest news and info on the proposed new race track near Nashville that Dover Downs Entertainment wants to build there. Next up: December 21, 1998 - The Wilson County Commissioners will vote on the speedway at 7:00pm.(Nashville Speedway Site), no idea hpw the 12-17 meeting went.(12-18-98)
- Nashville Speedway News: The Nashville Speedway Site has a "I Back The Track" section with all the latest news and info on the proposed new race track near Nashville that Dover Downs Entertainment wants to build there. Some of the news: December 17, 1998 - "I Back the Track" meeting will be held at Shoney's on Hwy 231, Lebanon, TN. Will be broadcasting live with Norman Parton on 99.7FM the sports talk show from 6:30 to 8:30.(Nashville Speedway Site)(12-9-98)
- Nashville Speedway approved? A proposed $124 million auto racing complex received the green light from two county planning panels yesterday despite the persistence of unanswered questions about the project. The Wilson County Planning Commission and the county's Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved a rezoning change and a site plan for the development, but left the responsibility to Dover Downs Entertainment Inc. to provide all the necessary information. See the rest of the story at Zoning for racetrack approved but planner wants more details.(The Tennessean, thanks Joe)(11-12-98)
- Nashville Speedway News: Two self-described grass roots organizations are enlisting some high-powered help in their fight regarding a $124 million superspeedway project in Wilson County(TN). Back the Track, an organization established by Wilson and Rutherford County residents to support Dover Downs Entertainment Inc.'s plans to build a multi-track speedway east of Nashville. Meanwhile, the group opposing the superspeedway has mustered up its own star power. Citizens Rising Against Speedway Havoc, or CRASH, has retained the services of renowned Murfreesboro attorney Frank Fly. See the story Racing toward the checkered flag... Groups square off over speedway issue.(Nashville Business Journal thanks Chase)(11-11-98)
- Tennessee Speedway forced elsewhere: Two property owners in Rutherford County, TN have forced Dover Downs Entertainment to move its proposed site for a super speedway because they refused to sell their land. Dover Downs now plans to build a 150,000-seat track entirely in Wilson County, instead of having it straddle the Wilson-Rutherford line. See the AP story at the Kingsport News Times/AP.(10-23-98)
- More news on the planned Nashville race track: New owners prepared to up ante for Winston(11-11-97)
- Big Story and news! "A $25 million - $30 million motorsports facility will come to town in the near future, according to new owners of Nashville Speedway USA. Dover Downs Entertainment Inc.,(DVD) which operates the successful Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Del., today announced it has acquired Nashville Speedway USA with the intention of building a new speedway in another location. Gaylord Entertainment will become a minority partner in the project. According to Dover Downs President and CEO Denis McGlynn, ``The facility will house a superspeedway(at least a mile in length), a drag strip, a dirt track and a road course." Initially the seating will be for about 50,000 fans with the ability to expand that right from the start. See the full story by Joe Caldwell/Banner Sports Writer at Gaylord Joins Venture to build $25M Motorsports Complex(forwarded to me by a reader/Nashville Banner). Also see The Nashville Speedway Page for additional info.(11-7-97)