Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Nashville Superspeedway Off 2012 NASCAR Docket; Track Could Land On Auction Block

Nashville Superspeedway's long struggle for financial survival has apparently come to an end. Parent company Dover Motorsports, Inc., announced today that the Music City oval will not seek any NASCAR race sanctions for 2012, forfeiting its spots on the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series schedules. The track’s Vice President and General Manager, Cliff Hawks, explained the decision, saying, “Nashville is a tremendous market filled with passionate race fans. We have some extremely dedicated and talented employees who have made this track a great destination, but the reality is, after 10 years of effort, we have to face the fact that without a Sprint Cup race and/or a significant change in the operating model for other events, we simply cannot continue.”

Nashville Superspeedway opened its gates in 2001 on nearly 1,400 acres just outside Nashville. The complex features a 1.33 mile, lighted concrete superspeedway with 25,000 permanent seats, along with foundation work for a dirt track, short track and drag strip. It hosted a doubleheader weekend for the NASCAR Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series in April of this year, with a second Truck race late last month. It has also hosted events for the IZOD IndyCar and ARCA series’, consistently struggling to draw fans. Dover Motorsports President & CEO Denis McGlynn painted a bleak future for the track today, saying Dover Motorsports is “at a juncture where we must evaluate all of our options for this track, including its possible sale.”

NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell said of the decision, "NASCAR appreciates the efforts by the Nashville Superspeedway team and the support and enthusiasm the fans have shown during our 10 years racing there. As we continue to work on the 2012 schedules, we believe the changes that we made at the beginning of the season, particularly the “declare a series” revision, have helped create renewed excitement and interest in both the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The schedules for these two series will remain strong, the racing will remain extremely competitive, and the development of future talent will continue to serve the sport well.”

Dover Motorsports has previously been forced to shutter Memphis Motorsports Park -- in October of 2009 -- and Gateway International Raceway in November of 2010. It continues to operate Dover International Speedway, hosting a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends each season, as well as companion events for the Nationwide, Camping World Truck and K&N Pro Series East. Nashville Superspeedway’s remaining 2011 events will not be impacted by today’s announcement.

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