A 2021 schedule domino fell Wednesday morning with the announcement that NASCAR racing is returning to Nashville.
The 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway will reopen for the first time since 2011’s Xfinity Series (pictured) and Truck Series races to host its first NASCAR Cup Series event. A Nashville date comes at the expense of Dover International Speedway, which will only host one NASCAR weekend next year. Nashville Superspeedway was built and is by Dover Motorsports Inc.
A race date for Nashville was not announced.
“Thanks to the collaboration of Dover Motorsports and our broadcast partners, we are excited to bring NASCAR racing back to Nashville, a place where the passion for our sport runs deep,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said. “The Nashville market is a vital one for our sport, and bringing NASCAR Cup Series racing to Nashville Superspeedway will be an integral building block in helping us further deliver on our promise in creating a dynamic schedule for 2021.”
NASCAR held its awards banquet in Nashville over the winter, and officials have been interested in bringing racing back to the area. Speedway Motorsports President Marcus Smith has led the way with support for Nashville Fairgrounds, including a $60 million renovation proposal. However, that property continues to be in the middle of city discussion around a $275 million land development that would include a Major League Soccer stadium.
“The news that NASCAR will bring a Cup race to Wilson County and the greater Nashville region in 2021 is a positive move for the sport of NASCAR and for NASCAR fans,” said Smith. “In recent years, we’ve made it very clear that we think Nashville is a place where NASCAR should be for the future and not just the past. Our efforts to work with state and local government officials to revive the historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway will continue. We believe that the beloved short track in downtown Nashville provides tremendous opportunity to be a catalyst for year-round tourism and entertainment development.”
Since the departure of NASCAR in ’11, Nashville Superspeedway has been used as a Nissan car lot and a stock car driving experience location. Infrastructure updates are expected to be done before NASCAR arrives next year.
“Our company is excited about the terrific opportunity to not only host a NASCAR Cup Series race weekend but opening our Nashville facility will enable us to host other exciting forms of racing and entertainment options,” said Mike Tatoian, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Dover Motorsports, Inc. “We are also proud that our long history with NASCAR will continue at the Monster Mile in 2021, and we also look forward to hosting the 9th Firefly Music Festival next summer.”