US stock car racing series Nascar is poised to make its long-awaited return to Nashville next year, according to multiple reports.
Nashville Superspeedway in Gladeville, Tennessee, is scheduled to host a Nascar Cup Series race on June 20, 2021. Dover Motorsports, which owns the track, will move one of its two races at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware, to allow the race to happen. An official announcement is expected this week.
Nashville used to be a fixture on the Nascar schedule for many years, with Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway hosting Cup Series races from 1958 until 1984.
Nashville Superspeedway has never hosted a Cup Series race before, while it staged Truck Series and Xfinity Series races from 2001 until 2011 before closing down due to poor attendances. Dover Motorsports came close twice in attempts to sell the track but the deals fell through.
Dover Motorsports, however, is now planning to give Nashville Superspeedway an $8-10m (€7-9m) makeover, including updates to WiFi infrastructure, for the track to stage Nascar Truck Series and Xfinity Series going forward, as well as NTT IndyCar Series races.
“When we built Nashville Superspeedway in 2001 our goal was to one day secure a Nascar Cup Series race for the venue,” Dover Motorsports president and chief executive Denis McGlynn said in a statement. “While we have been in discussions with Nascar for some time about the possibility of bringing the Nascar Cup Series back to Nashville Superspeedway, plans really just became solidified in recent weeks.”
The planned return to Nashville further demonstrates Nascar’s desire to shake-up its schedule in an attempt to revive the organization’s fortunes, which have rebounded this year thanks to a swift and innovative response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There have been plans for Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway to host a Nascar race again in the coming years but no deal has yet been reached. The venue is located directly next to a new 30,000-seater stadium being constructed by Major League Soccer expansion team Nashville SC. Issues over the site almost cost Nashville SC’s place in MLS.