NASCAR Targeted Nashville For Cup Series Race

Carl Edwards takes the checkered flag at Nashville Superspeedway in 2011. (NASCAR photo)
Carl Edwards takes the checkered flag at Nashville Superspeedway in 2011. (NASCAR photo)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — It is no surprise that the decision to run a NASCAR Cup Series race next June at Nashville Superspeedway is the result of NASCAR’s desire to realign its schedule in 2021 and moving forward.

Officials from Dover Motorsports and NASCAR met the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss the logistics it will take to bring the 1.33-mile concrete track back to life after nearly a decade without racing.

Dover Motorsports owns both Nashville Superspeedway and Dover (Del.) Int’l Speedway, which has been on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule since 1969. Nashville Superspeedway debuted in 2001 and ran its last race in 2011.

Despite having hosted the NTT IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Xfinity and Gander Outdoor & RV Truck Series, the track has never hosted a Cup Series event.

Discussions between NASCAR and Dover Motorsports began in November and resulted in one of the two annual races at Dover moving to Nashville.

“We sat down with the NASCAR leadership and Ben and listened to where everyone was with this subject and we talked about a list of approximately 10 markets that NASCAR had identified for penetration and as it turned out, No. 1 on that list was Nashville,” said Dover Motorsports President and CEO Denis McGlynn. “Us having a track already built in Nashville led us to the conversation that basically led to what we announced today. It’s been a very cooperative relationship among all of the stakeholders. Everybody is excited about this and it is a win-win for everyone, specifically our company now that we will be able to have two Cup tracks, one here on the East Coast and the other in what is going to be the hottest market in NASCAR.

“It gives everybody who is requesting change to the schedule, a hope that this is the first of what will be many.”

Ben Kennedy, NASCAR vice president of racing development, is spearheading NASCAR’s move to revamp its long-lasting traditional schedule.

“Really when we started the 2021 schedule, it was really looking at not only ’21 but years out as well,” Kennedy explained. “Where do we want to be in the future? That involved a lot of research, kind of going back to the drawing board of where do we have fans today, where are they passionate, and where are they passionate about having a race.

“Nashville was really one of those top markets,” he continued. “Obviously, as I mentioned earlier, been working with Marcus and the team around the fairgrounds. Nashville Superspeedway also came up in conversations with the group out at Dover. What a better opportunity, an opportunity now, as well, to explore that in 2021.

“I think as you look at it in particular, it is an intermediate, but it’s also a unique one, too. It’s a mile-and-a-third. It’s also a concrete track, actually the largest concrete track we’ll have on our schedule, as well.

“I think the uniqueness of it tied to the market is kind of a win-win scenario.  I think it will certainly add a little bit of variety to the schedule, kind of another turning point as we think about the next iterations of the 2021 schedule.”

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