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Volume 26 No. 230
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SMI, Nashville Mayor In Talks To Return NASCAR To Fairgrounds

Since starting an All-Star Race in '85, it has been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year except '86
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Since starting an All-Star Race in '85, it has been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year except '86
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Since starting an All-Star Race in '85, it has been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year except '86
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Nashville Mayor David Briley recently met with SMI President & CEO Marcus Smith to "hear out the group's interest" in bringing NASCAR events "back to the city-owned speedway," according to Joey Garrison of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. During a trip to Nashville last week, Smith "separately met" with Fairgrounds Speedway Promoter Tony Formosa. Some observers consider the return of NASCAR to the fairgrounds "unlikely considering the many pieces that would need to come together, including financial resources for speedway improvements." But in a July 26 letter to Briley, Smith told the mayor that SMI has "'continued to follow with interest' the city's plans to build a new 30,500-seat MLS stadium at the fairgrounds." Briley's Press Secretary Judith Byrd "would not say whether the mayor is open to the idea of supporting the return of NASCAR to the fairgrounds." NASCAR's Cup Series "left Nashville" in '84. Any plan to "revive NASCAR racing at the fairgrounds would likely require sizable upgrades to the speedway" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 8/29).  A race that has been mentioned by sources in recent months as one that SMI could move to Nashville is the NASCAR All-Star Race. The news of SMI trying to get back involved with the Fairgrounds Speedway also comes amid rumblings that NASCAR is considering moving the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series postseason gala to Nashville (Adam Stern, Staff Writer). Autoweek earlier this week reported on the NASCAR-Nashville talks (THE DAILY).