Official: IndyCar Heading To Nashville In 2021

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Official: IndyCar Heading
The NTT IndyCar Series will stage a street race in downtown Nashville next summer. (IndyCar photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the addition of an NTT IndyCar Series event to an ever-growing menu of races, Nashville is turning Music City USA into a new motorsports mecca.

With the recent move of the NASCAR Cup Series awards banquet to Nashville along with that series’ addition of Nashville Superspeedway to next year’s schedule, IndyCar rounded out the motorsports list with the announcement of a downtown street race next season.

The Music City Grand Prix, in partnership with IndyCar, will bring a new sound to Nashville. Event officials announced Wednesday that the newest NTT IndyCar Series race will debut Aug. 6-8, 2021.

The three-day international festival of speed and sound will be staged on a temporary grand prix circuit in downtown Nashville and around the Nissan Stadium campus.

The event will include live music performances by top artists, best-in-class chef-curated food experiences and entertainment in one this rapidly developing entertainment and destination city.

It’s the first street course added to the NTT IndyCar Series schedule since 2013. The track features 11 turns and plenty of straightaways for drivers to pass. Those and other dynamic features are expected to create an exhilarating experience for both drivers and fans.

“The Music City Grand Prix will be a one-of-a-kind NTT IndyCar Series experience anchored in the heart of Nashville’s action-packed, exhilarating downtown corridor,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp. “Nashville is a world-class city and global entertainment capital that provides an exceptional platform for our series. From professional sports teams and top live music acts to a burgeoning food and culture scene, it is a perfect home for a racing event of this magnitude.

“Urban street festivals have become a huge part of our DNA at IndyCar and this three-day festival — complete with a course that pushes the limits — will highlight everything Nashville and the sport have to offer, providing international travelers, racing enthusiasts and local thrill seekers alike with an experience of a lifetime.”

The NTT IndyCar Series features talented and charismatic drivers from around the globe, including five-time Indy car titlist Scott Dixon from New Zealand, two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato from Japan and Nashville’s own two-time series champion, Josef Newgarden.

“Nashville is a special place, and the announcement of the Music City Grand Prix truly marks a huge step forward for our community as we look to the future and a return of our thriving and unique entertainment scene,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “This announcement could not have come at a better time. The event represents a tremendous private investment in the city and a catalyst to our economic recovery.”

With Nissan Stadium — home of the Tennessee Titans — serving as the paddock for the race, the 2.17-mile temporary track will race across the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge, into downtown Nashville and back, making the Music City Grand Prix one of the only events in motorsports to cross over a major body of water.

“The Tennessee Titans and Nissan Stadium are excited to partner with the Music City Grand Prix to bring the NTT IndyCar Series to Nashville and the stadium campus,” said Burke Nihill, president and CEO of the Tennessee Titans. “This is in keeping with our organizational goal of making our city, this venue and our organization as versatile and as busy as possible.”

The Music City Grand Prix has forged key partnerships in order to bring this privately funded event to fruition.

Music City Grand Prix officials are appreciative for collaboration with IndyCar, the Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation, Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County, the State of Tennessee, the Nashville Sports Council and the Middle Tennessee State University School of Concrete and Construction Management.

“Nashville continues to serve as a world-class entertainment and event destination, so adding an urban racing festival of this caliber is a logical next step for the city,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation. “From the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Finals to the 2019 NFL Draft, Nashville knows how to host sporting events of all kinds while making them a party.

“The Music City Grand Prix underscores why Nashville was named Best Sports City in 2019, and we look forward to the national and international marketing it will bring to the city.”

The track map for the inaugural Music City Grand Prix.