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What Was Going On at the Nashville Fairgrounds This Week?

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Joshua Lipowski

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On Tuesday night, the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway hosted an rally at the race track prior to a community meeting discussing the race track. Many big names in motorsports were there including Marcus Smith and Kurt Busch, and fans turned out to support the Fairgrounds.

What exactly was said and was there any real progress made as a result of this meeting? We at the Daily Downforce have everything to discuss surrounding this gathering at the Fairgrounds.

The Big Names At the Fairgrounds

Multiple people were there at the Nashville Fairgrounds, but the two biggest names are very familiar to NASCAR fans. 2004 Cup Series Champion, Kurt Busch, was there along with 23XI Racing spotter Freddie Kraft, and the CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., Marcus Smith.

Kurt Busch talked some about the historic value of the race track. He compared it to places like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field in baseball, and he came out in full support of the race track.

I think now, what is old is new, and that’s what I hope that we can do with the Nashville Fairgrounds.

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch did race at the Fairgrounds once in 2000 in the Truck Series. He drove to a 12th place finish in the 99 truck for Jack Roush. He called the race track “tough”.

Marcus Smith continued to reiterate his support for the Fairgrounds, and he expressed his love for the city of Nashville. Not only Nashville, but the race track, which is something Smith has had his eye on for years.

15 years ago, I came over to the Fairgrounds, and i thought, why aren’t we here? Why isn’t NASCAR here?

Marcus Smith

This would not be the first race track revival that Smith has been a part of. He was one of the important figures in bringing back the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway, and he saw the fruits of that in May with the All-Star Race moved to North Wilkesboro.

He also owns Bristol Motor Speedway, which is one of the entities behind the restoration of the Fairgrounds. With the dignitaries already giving their thoughts, the Fairgrounds did have some interesting highlights in their proposal for the restoration of the venue.

Highlights of the Fairgrounds Proposal

Jerry Caldwell laid out how he envisioned the events being laid out for the Nashville Fairgrounds racing schedule after the new renovations. Matt Weaver documented what Caldwell said.

The highlight amongst this for NASCAR fans is the one NASCAR weekend every other year. With this proposal, NASCAR would not be at the Fairgrounds every year, but every other year. The question becomes, what would the Fairgrounds swap with?

Does it swap every other year with Nashville Superspeedway, which is an SMI-owned venue? Could it swap with Bristol, since Bristol is one of the biggest proponents of this renovation? North Wilkesboro is also an option if NASCAR wants to have a rotating “legacy venue” on the schedule every single year.

Another thing that the Fairgrounds has marketed heavily is the usage of sound walls to reduce the noise at the track. The potential impacts of the loud noises of the track have been a point of contention at the track and at almost every other race track built in existence.

Now, the opposition was out at this event as well, and they were not particularly kind to the Fairgrounds.

The Opposition

Jason Bergeron, who was formerly the Nashville Fair Board Commissioner, spoke out against the renovations of the race track at the meeting. In his statement he attacked Bristol Motor Speedway, their tactics, and he even talked about a conversation he had with Mayor John Cooper.

Bergeron went so far as to call the proposal “morally bankrupt.” Quite the intense accusation, and members of NASCAR Twitter were quick to try to refute these comments. Two of the most outspoken opponents of this message were “The Iceberg”, Jaret Lundberg, and DannyBTalks.

Even late model driver Landon Huffman joined in to respond to this comment. Huffman has earned some fame on YouTube for his views behind the scenes of racing in late models.

At the end of the day, no vote was had, and no final decision has been made on the Fairgrounds. Nothing can definitively be said about the impact of this event, but it does continue to showcase how strong opinions are on both sides. We will have to wait and see what happens from here on out.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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