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NASCAR City USA: Cup Series scheduled for 2021 returns to Nashville | Sports

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His music in the ears of NASCAR: the series of stock cars should return to Nashville, Tennessee in 2021.

Nashville Superspeedway will host a cup race for the first time next season, ending a ten-year absence from NASCAR on the track. The Nashville track is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc., which has organized cup race weekends every year since 1969. Dover will waive one of its dates and transfer it to Nashville for a scheduled race weekend. June 2021.

Nashville Superspeedway organized Xfinity and Truck events from 2001 to 2011.

The idea of ​​returning NASCAR to Nashville took root after a successful eruption last December for its end-of-season awards ceremony. There were burnouts on Broadway, a party with country music star and NASCAR fan Blake Shelton, and a NASCAR themed party at the Grand Ole Opry. Driven by excitement, Dover started discussions with NASCAR and its television broadcast partners on the organization of a race on the Superspeedway.

Especially after the awards banquet, it was: how to get to Nashville as soon as possible? Dover CEO Mike Tatoian told The Associated Press. It was a fairly easy discussion that it was 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 on approximately 1,000 acres just outside of Nashville, and currently has 25,000 permanent grandstand seating and lights for night racing.

There is still a lot of work to do: Tatoian said that giving the runway a modern makeover would cost at least $ 8 million to $ 10 million and that he wanted to accommodate the capacity from 25,000 to 50,000 .

He also expected to hire full-time staff who will operate independently of Dover. NASCAR observed a date of June 20, 2021.

Tatoian said he hoped the truck, second-level Xfinity series and IndyCar could find a home on the Nashville calendar again.

Dover attempted to take advantage of the NASCAR advantage of the late 1990s and early 2000s and had at one time invested more than $ 100 million in the construction of the Nashville track to go with Dover and in her portfolio and the tracks she owned in St. Louis and Memphis areas.

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Twenty years ago, it was thought at the time that if NASCAR were to expand, which was a good time to think, we wanted to lay claim to these markets, said Tatoian. This does not happen. He just never lent himself to moving 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 clung to it, fortuitously, just in case there was an opportunity in the future to do what we do now.

Dover has sold nearly 300 acres of property near Nashville Superspeedway since 2018 for nearly $ 10 million.

The move to Tennessee is one of the first major signs that NASCAR really intends to shake up its traditionally obsolete schedule. The sanctioning body is expected to make significant changes to its 2021 calendar, which could include more short runs, midweek races and doubles.

The industry had an unexpected glimpse of what could happen when the coronavirus pandemic forced a massive upheaval into this calendar of seasons. NASCAR has already organized five cup events since the season resumed on May 17.

Dover, the site of two NASCAR weekends each year since 1971, was scheduled to hold a race in May of this season until the coronavirus pandemic forced a postponement. Dover is scheduled to participate in Cup races on August 22 and 23.

It seems more and more that hosting a double title, said Tatoian. It’s a strong scenario and that’s what we focused on.

Dover is expected to keep a date in May 2021. Tatoian said Dover’s potential to lose a race if Nashville hadn’t worked has never been discussed.

The Cup Series took place 42 times on the old fairground from 1958 to 1984, and the lower level Xfinity and Truck Series raced there for the last time in 2000. NASCAR is also used to hosting a annual Sound and Speed ​​event which mixed its stars and country artists at events. around Nashville until 2010.

Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are among the drivers who have won races at the Superspeedway.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, disseminated, rewritten or redistributed without authorization.

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