Nashville Fair Board approves Bristol’s deal to operate Fairgrounds Speedway NASCAR 75: Looking back on iconic moments in NASCAR’s history for 75th anniversary NASCAR Power Rankings: Two-time winner William Byron is No. 1 Jimmie Johnson to run at COTA, Coca-Cola 600 Denny Hamlin’s comments about incident with Ross Chastain on NASCAR’s ‘radar’
Nashville Fairs Council Commissioners approved an agreement with Bristol Motor Speedway to operate Fairgrounds Speedway by a 3-2 vote, bringing the prospect of NASCAR racing at the historic circuit closer to reality.
The proposal still needs to be approved by the Metropolitan Council before the Urban Sports Authority can do so.
A proposal must pass three readings, including a public hearing, by the Metro Council before it can be approved. The first reading is expected in April. The second reading, which includes public hearings, is expected to take place in May. The final reading may be moved to July because the city council has a period when it must focus solely on the budget.
“We are grateful to the Nashville Fairs Council for supporting the restoration of the historic Fairgrounds Speedway,” said Jerry Caldwell, president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “They have spent a lot of time testing this opportunity, and we agree that it ensures a financially responsible future for the freeway by shifting risk from taxpayers to the private operator, and completes the restoration of the fairgrounds with improvements such as a state-of-the-art sound-absorbing wall that benefits the surrounding areas. .
“We look forward to working with the Metro Council in the coming weeks and trust they will also agree that this is a sound plan for the future of Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.”
In March 2021, Nashville Mayor John Cooper signed a letter of intent between the city and Bristol Motor Speedway to operate Fairgrounds Speedway.
Mayor Cooper announced on November 30, 2021 that he agreed in principle with Bristol Motor Speedway on a proposal to revive the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, which dates back to 1904 and hosted at least one Cup race a year from 1958-84. Those who have won include Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip.
The deal provided for Bristol Motor Speedway to lease, operate and operate the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for 30 years. Bristol will be responsible for installing state-of-the-art sound absorbers to reduce noise levels in nearby areas. The grandstand of the track will be rebuilt to accommodate about 30,000 fans.
Bristol will pay a base rent of at least $1 million a year to use the Fairgrounds Speedway.
A summary of the terms of the deal states: “Bristol will host NASCAR Cup races at least once every two years for the duration of the lease and has agreed to make up for any shortfall in reported revenues to ensure that a bond is paid in the event the race is not run as intended.”
It was not specified how long it would take to complete the redevelopment projects and prepare the track for NASCAR racing.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps said last November that series officials plan to keep making changes to the schedule. The 2023 schedule was not revealed until September 14, 2022. If NASCAR follows the same schedule, it will have about six months before the 2024 schedule is released.
Bristol Motor Speedway has been interested in Fairgrounds Speedway for over five years. In August 2017, Bristol Motor Speedway confirmed that it had submitted a proposal to operate Fairgrounds Speedway. He lost this bet.
Bristol Motor Speedway’s proposal to refurbish Fairgrounds Speedway was submitted in May 2019.
NASCAR has raced at the Nashville Superspeedway for the past two years. This track is located in Lebanon, Tennessee, about 35 miles from downtown Nashville. NASCAR has a four-year contract with the circuit.
75 years on the track is something worth celebrating. Throughout the season, NBC will be celebrating NASCAR’s 75th anniversary and counting down some of the most iconic moments in the history of the sport.
Since 1948, the roar of engines and the thrill of high speeds have conquered the whole world. Now, many years later, the excitement is unabated as the next generation kicks off another exciting season.
Whether it was Red Byron’s first NASCAR championship win in 1949 or Ross Chastain’s unforgettable “video game move” in 2022, there are countless memories to relive from a track that will stand the test of time.
We take a look at some of the most incredible moments in NASCAR history, updated regularly throughout the season. Stay tuned to NBC Sports for memories and moments from over seven decades of competition.
CONNECTED: Click here for the full NASCAR schedule for 2023.
Talladega 2004: Jeff Gordon Advantage Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a controversial ending
Earnhardt’s name is magical on Talladega Superspeedway, where Dale Sr. and Dale Jr. have had success after success. But it was Jeff Gordon who came to victory in a controversial finish on the 2.66-mile course in 2004.
Gordon and Earnhardt Jr. were battling for the lead with five laps to go when Brian Vickers crashed, prompting a caution. At the time, the green-and-white-checkered overtime rules were yet to go into effect, and NASCAR determined the winner—in this case, Gordon—based on which driver was ahead at the time of the flag. Gordon was ahead by about half the length of the car and he was careful to put up checkered flags for the win.
The decision did not sit well with many in the Talladega stands. Drink cans, seat cushions and other debris, some of which got into Gordon’s car, were thrown onto the track by fans as Gordon completed the honorary lap.
Gordon led the last six laps of the race, including the last four with caution.
Daytona 500, 2013: Danica Patrick wins first women’s pole win
Danica Patrick’s decision to leave IndyCar racing for NASCAR caused a wave of publicity at the top level of stock car racing, and she made headlines in qualifying for the 2013 Daytona 500 at the start of her first full season in Cup racing.
Patrick, driving for Stewart Haas Racing, ran a lap of 196.434 mph and won the 500 pole, becoming the first woman to do so. Jeff Gordon qualified second. Patrick finished eighth in the race.
Patrick’s hopes for a successful NASCAR career were dashed. She hasn’t won a single pole since the 2013 Dayton run and has never won a race.
In her five-plus seasons in the Cup, she has never finished in the top five and finished in the top ten seven times.
2020 The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington: Return to Racing
The NASCAR Cup Series ran its first four races of the 2020 season before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US in early March.
It will be more than two months before drivers and teams take to the track again. The start of the dramatically changed 2020 Cup schedule took place on May 17 at Darlington Speedway.
With strict COVID-19 security protocols, Real Heroes 400 took place behind closed doors. Only essential personnel were present at Darlington for the race, which was one of the first major professional sporting events in the US since the start of the pandemic.
Kevin Harvick reached a milestone by winning his 50th career Cup Series and celebrated by eating donuts at the start/finish. When he got out of his Ford, he was greeted only by silence.
“The weirdest part of the day for me was when I got out of the car and didn’t hear anyone cheering,” Harvick said.
It was a day unlike any other in NASCAR history. But the mission of the sport was completed. Racing is back.
1959 Daytona 500: photo finish decides first winner
For years, cars have raced along the shores of Daytona Beach, Florida, but Bill France Sr. had another idea – to build a 2.5-mile race track with high banks a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
The first NASCAR race took place in 1959. Johnny Beauchamp was declared the winner, crossing the line in a trio with Lee Petty and Joe Weatherly’s lapped car.
Petty claimed to have won the race, but it wasn’t until three days later that photographic evidence was discovered showing that Petty had passed Beauchamp to the finish line. The photo was taken by T. Taylor Warne, who received the NASCAR Squier-Hall Award for Excellence in Media and was honored at the 2023 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Richard Petty’s father won his third title in the series, taking crowns in 1954 and 1958.
2020 GEICO 500 at Talladega: NASCAR stands for unity Bubba Wallace
During a race weekend in June 2020 at Talladega Superspeedway, a member of Bubba Wallace’s team informed NASCAR that a noose had been placed in Wallace’s garage.
On race day, riders and crew members pushed Wallace’s car onto pit road in solidarity. Wallace finished 14th in the race.
An FBI investigation later ruled that there was no hate crime because the garage rope had been like this since last October, and no one could have known Wallace’s team would have one like this…