This is music for NASCAR ears: The stock car series is set to return to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2021.
Nashville Superspeedway will hold a Cup race for the first time next season, ending a decade-long absence from NASCAR. The Nashville track is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc., which has been holding weekend Cup competitions every year since 1969. Dover will submit one of its dates and move it to Nashville for the expected June 2021 race weekend.
Nashville Superspeedway held Xfinity and Truck events from 2001 to 2011.
The idea of returning NASCAR to Nashville took root after the successful explosion last December for its end of season award celebration. There was excitement on Broadway, parties with country music stars and NASCAR fans Blake Shelton and NASCAR-themed nights at Grand Ole Opry. Encouraged by excitement, Dover began discussing with NASCAR and TV broadcast partners about running the race on superspeedway.
“Especially after the award ceremony, that is, how do we get to Nashville as soon as possible?” Dover CEO Mike Tatoian told The Associated Press. “That makes it a pretty easy discussion that it’s through Dover Motorsports.”
The 1.33-mile concrete track was built in 2001 by Dover Motorsports and hosted NASCAR and IndyCar events until 2011. The track is located around 1,000 hectares outside Nashville, and currently has 25,000 permanent stands and lights for night racing.
There is a lot of work ahead: Tatoian says giving the song a modern change will cost at least $ 8 million to $ 10 million and he wants to adjust capacity to 25,000-50,000.
He is also expected to employ full time staff who will operate independently of Dover. NASCAR observes June 20, 2021.
Tatoian said he hoped that Truck, the second layer of the Xfinity Series and IndyCar could again find a home according to Nashville’s schedule.
Dover is trying to take advantage of the NASCAR award in the late 1990s and early 2000s and has invested at one point more than $ 100 million in building the Nashville route to go with Dover and in its portfolio and track at St. Louis and Memphis area.
“The thought of the past 20 years was that if NASCAR would expand, which at the time was the right time to think, we would like to claim those markets,” said Tatoian. “That did not happen. It’s just that it never tends to move one of our races at that time. So in 2011, after 10 or 11 years of operation, we decided it was time to close the operation. But we held it, by chance, in case there was a chance in the future to do what we do now. “
Dover has sold nearly 300 hectares of property near Nashville Superspeedway since 2018 for almost $ 10 million.
The shift to Tennessee is one of the first major signs that NASCAR really intends to shake traditional stale schedules. The sanctions body is expected to make significant changes to its 2021 schedule, which can include more short tracks, midweek races and doubleheaders.
The industry gets an unexpected preview of what can happen up front when the coronavirus pandemic is forcing major changes to this season’s schedule. NASCAR has run five Cup events since the season began May 17.
Dover, the venue of two NASCAR weekends every year since 1971, is scheduled to race in May this season until the coronavirus pandemic forces a delay. Dover is expected to run the Cup race on August 22 and 23.
“It seems like more and more we will host doubleheaders,” said Tatoian. “That’s a strong scenario and that’s what we focus on.”
Dover is scheduled to retain the date of May in 2021. Tatoian said Dover’s potential to lose the race if Nashville didn’t function was never discussed.
The Cup Series ran 42 times at the old Fairgrounds from 1958 to 1984, and the last low-level Xfinity and Truck Series raced there in 2000. NASCAR also regularly organizes annual “Sound and Speed” events that bring together country stars and artists at events events around Nashville until 2010.
Brad Selowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are some of the riders who won races on the Nashville track.
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