NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Nashville Superspeedway will host a NASCAR Cup Series race in 2021. The 1.33-mile oval in Lebanon, Tennessee has previously hosted the NASCAR Xfinity and Truck Series as recently as 2011 and also once hosted the NTT IndyCar Series in the mid-2000s.
The superspeedway is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc., and to make room for Nashville on the schedule, Dover International Speedway will be giving up one of its two Cup race dates. Dover, commonly known as “The Monster Mile”, had been hosting two Cup events annually since 1971. The track celebrated both its 50th anniversary and its 100th race in fall 2019.
Nashville was known for giving the race winners a Gibson Les Paul guitar designed by the late Sam Bass. The unique trophy gained even more fame when Kyle Busch smashed his in victory lane after winning in 2009. Other drivers who found success at the track include several Cup Series stars like Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski, who scored his first career Xfinity Series win at Nashville in 2008.
Carl Edwards arguably had the most success of any NASCAR driver in the track’s 2001-2011 duration. Edwards, now retired, scored 5 wins in 13 starts at Nashville, as well as a victory in the NASCAR Gander RC & Outdoors Truck Series.
Whether or not the Xfinity or Truck Series could return to the track was not stated in the press release, which can be found below.
DOVER, Del. (June 3, 2020) – NASCAR and Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD) have agreed to host a NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway in 2021.
“We were energized to see how excited Nashville was to host the NASCAR Cup Series banquet last December,” said Denis McGlynn, president & CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. “When we built Nashville Superspeedway in 2001 our goal was to one day secure a NASCAR Cup Series race for the venue. Nashville, central Tennessee and the surrounding market area is filled with passionate race fans. We are thrilled that we were able to collaborate with NASCAR and our television partners to get this done and we can’t wait to put on a great show there in 2021.
“While we have been in discussions with NASCAR for some time about the possibility of bringing the NASCAR Cup Series back to Nashville Superspeedway, plans really just became solidified in recent weeks. We will have many more announcements and exciting updates to share regarding plans for the facility shortly.”
The 1.33-mile concrete track was built in 2001 by Dover Motorsports, Inc. and hosted NASCAR- and IRL-sanctioned events from 2001 to 2011. It is situated on approximately 1,000 acres just outside of Nashville, and currently has 25,000 permanent grandstand seats and lights for night racing. The property played host to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, NTT INDYCAR SERIES and other racing series in its history.
Current NASCAR Cup Series competitors who have notched wins at Nashville Superspeedway include Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon.
“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,” said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. “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.”
In turn, Dover International Speedway will host one NASCAR Cup Series race weekend in 2021.
“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.”