The Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway was once a staple on the NASCAR schedule. The .596-mile paved oval hosted the NASCAR Cup Series from 1958 when Joe Weatherly captured the checkered flag in a 100-mile event until 1984 when Geoffrey Bodine was the last to earn a win in the sport’s top division on the historic track. The NASCAR Xfinity Series raced there on an irregular basis from 1984 to 2000 and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series staged events in the state capital of Tennessee from 1996 to 2000.
The track recently hosted the All-American 400, one of pavement short track racing’s crown jewel events, for the 36th time.
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According to a post on the speedway’s website, the track is in discussions with Bristol Motor Speedway and its parent company, Speedway Motorsports, to renovate the facility for the purpose of bringing “Local Racing and three traditional National Events to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for years to come.” Plans are also in place to continue hosting the All-American 400 with the 37th annual running of that race weekend slated for the last weekend in October while the ARCA Menards Series East will make its way to Nashville in May.
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is currently operated by Track Enterprises, Inc. and D&D Events.
Local officials have also worked out a deal that will allow a 30,000-seat soccer-specific stadium to be built near the race track for the Nashville SC, an expansion team that competes in Major League Soccer. Ground was broken for that project after multiple lawsuits and funding-related delays in March of 2020. The soccer club currently uses Nissan Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, as its home venue.
NASCAR does, in fact, have plans to return to the Nashville area. On the weekend of June 18-20, 2021, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Cup Series will contest races at the Nashville Super Speedway. That 1.33-mile oval is located approximately 30 miles southeast of Nashville in Gladeville, TN. The facility is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc.
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Nashville Super Speedway hosted the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series between 2001 and 2011. The NTT IndyCar Series raced there from 2001 to 2008.
The 2020 event will mark the first appearance by the NASCAR Cup Series on the concrete-surfaced track.
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway first held races in 1904 and is only surpassed by the Milwaukee Mile as the longest existing race track in the United States. Only time will tell if the venerable old short track will again offer racing in any or all of NASCAR’s top-three divisions.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association
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