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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 05: A view of the new NASCAR Cup Series logo with Premier Partners Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, GEICO and Xfinity on December 05, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Nashville Superspeedway to host 2021 NASCAR Cup race UPDATE


UPDATE: NASCAR and Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD) have agreed to host a NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway in 2021.

"We were energized to see how excited Nashville was to host the NASCAR Cup Series banquet last December," said Denis McGlynn, president & CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. "When we built Nashville Superspeedway in 2001 our goal was to one day secure a NASCAR Cup Series race for the venue. Nashville, central Tennessee and the surrounding market area is filled with passionate race fans. We are thrilled that we were able to collaborate with NASCAR and our television partners to get this done and we can’t wait to put on a great show there in 2021.

"While we have been in discussions with NASCAR for some time about the possibility of bringing the NASCAR Cup Series back to Nashville Superspeedway, plans really just became solidified in recent weeks. We will have many more announcements and exciting updates to share regarding plans for the facility shortly."

The 1.33-mile concrete track was built in 2001 by Dover Motorsports, Inc. and hosted NASCAR- and IRL-sanctioned events from 2001 to 2011. It is situated on approximately 1,000 acres just outside of Nashville, and currently has 25,000 permanent grandstand seats and lights for night racing. The property played host to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, NTT INDYCAR SERIES and other racing series in its history.

Current NASCAR Cup Series competitors who have notched wins at Nashville Superspeedway include Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon.

"Thanks to the collaboration of Dover Motorsports and our broadcast partners, we are excited to bring NASCAR racing back to Nashville, a place where the passion for our sport runs deep," said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. "The Nashville market is a vital one for our sport, and bringing NASCAR Cup Series racing to Nashville Superspeedway will be an integral building block in helping us further deliver on our promise in creating a dynamic schedule for 2021."

In turn, Dover International Speedway will host one NASCAR Cup Series race weekend in 2021.

"Our company is excited about the terrific opportunity to not only host a NASCAR Cup Series race weekend but opening our Nashville facility will enable us to host other exciting forms of racing and entertainment options," said Mike Tatoian, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Dover Motorsports, Inc.

"We are also proud that our long history with NASCAR will continue at the Monster Mile in 2021, and we also look forward to hosting the 9th Firefly Music Festival next summer."

— Dover Motorsports —

AND: The following is a statement from Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith on the news that NASCAR will return to Nashville in 2021:

"The news that NASCAR will bring a Cup race to Wilson County and the greater Nashville region in 2021 is a positive move for the sport of NASCAR and for NASCAR fans. In recent years, we’ve made it very clear that we think Nashville is a place where NASCAR should be for the future and not just the past. Our efforts to work with state and local government officials to revive the historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway will continue. We believe that the beloved short track in downtown Nashville provides tremendous opportunity to be a catalyst for year-round tourism and entertainment development."

— Speedway Motorsports —

AND:

ORIGINAL POST 6-2-2020: Nashville Superspeedway in Wilson County will reopen with a schedule next year that will include a NASCAR Cup Series race, according to Dover Motorsports.

June 20, 2021 is a "very tentative" date for the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Nashville Superspeedway, which could change as NASCAR and its broadcast partners finalize next year’s schedule, Dover Motorsports Chief Operating Officer Mike Tatoian said.

Other races will also be held at the Nashville Superspeedway, Tatoian said.

The return to racing at the track is not a one-shot deal, but "the anticipation is to operate the facility for a long time," Tatoian said.

The 1.33-mile concrete track was built in 2001 by Dover Motorsports, Inc. and hosted NASCAR- and IRL-sanctioned events. But Nashville Superspeedway was largely closed by owner Dover Motorsports as a race track in 2011.

Dover’s decision means the company will likely be the first to bring NASCAR racing back to the Nashville area. Speedway Motorsports, which runs the track in Bristol, has expressed interest in bringing NASCAR to the Fairgrounds Nashville. But there’s no deal in place.

See much more at the Tennessean.

H/T: Adam Stern

The Nashville date is expected to come at the expense of one of Dover’s Cup race weekends.

AND: The idea to return NASCAR to Nashville took root after a successful blowout last December for its season-ending awards celebration. There were burnouts on Broadway, a party with country music star and NASCAR fan Blake Shelton and a NASCAR-themed night at the Grand Ole Opry. Buoyed by the excitement, Dover started discussions with NASCAR and its TV broadcast partners about running a race at the Superspeedway.

"Especially after the awards banquet, it was, how do we get to Nashville as soon as we possibly can?" Dover CEO Mike Tatoian told The Associated Press. "It made it a fairly easy discussion that it was through Dover Motorsports."

There’s plenty of work ahead: Tatoian said giving the track a modern makeover would cost at least $8 million to $10 million and he’d like to fit capacity at the 25,000-50,000 mark.

He also expected to hire a full-time staff that will operate independently of Dover. NASCAR eyed a date of June 20, 2021.

Tatoian said he’s hopeful the Truck, second-tier Xfinity Series and IndyCar could again find a home on the Nashville schedule.

Dover is scheduled to keep a May date in 2021. Tatoian said the potential of Dover losing a race had Nashville did not work was never discussed.

Associated Press