Bristol forms partnership with Nashville Fairgrounds

Fairgrounds Speedway operator Formosa Productions and Bristol Motor Speedway reach agreement to possibly bring NASCAR racing back to Nashville.

Bristol forms partnership with Nashville Fairgrounds
Bristol Motor Speedway ambiance
The main entrance sign to Bristol Motor Speedway
Dale Earnhardt Jr. with BMS President Jerry Caldwell

The agreement for Fairgrounds Speedway, which held what is now NASCAR Cup Series races 42 times between 1958 and 1984, could open the door for NASCAR-sanctioned events to return to Nashville for the first time since 2000 when the NASCAR Truck and Xfinity Series competed there at the Fairgrounds location.

The joint effort intends to combine local racing and other major motorsports events that once made Fairgrounds Speedway one of the premier raceways in motorsports.

BMS and Formosa Productions, who will continue to lead local racing efforts, have signed a contract to work with Metro Nashville and the Board of Fair Commissioners, owner of the historic raceway at the Nashville Fairgrounds, on a long-range plan of significant track improvements and high-profile race events that could include NASCAR events upon the facility meeting standards.

“This is terrific news for fans of racing and drivers all across the country and will bring a brighter future for Nashville Fairgrounds,” said Tony Formosa, president of Formosa Productions. “I’m excited to work with Bruton and Marcus Smith and the Bristol team who I feel will bring this historic facility back to where it belongs. Today marks an exciting new beginning for the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.”

Claire Formosa, vice president of Formosa Productions added, “This is exactly what the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville needed. This is one of the most historic short tracks in the country. To know that we now have the chance to bring back NASCAR and restore this facility to what it once was, without losing any of its history is remarkable. I can not wait to see what the future holds for this facility and everyone involved.”

“Tony and our team both see the same bright future for Fairgrounds Speedway. Nashville has a special reputation as one of the most exciting tracks in the history of motorsports, and the region has a remarkably large and passionate fan base,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “The motorsports industry – the sanctioning bodies, drivers and race teams – is excited about Nashville’s potential to be a regular site for major events. With Metro supportive of that vision, we are eager to start working tomorrow with the city, Tony and other stakeholders at the Fairgrounds and beyond, to develop a first-class racing facility and program.”

The track has also hosted NASCAR Hometracks events as recently as 2008 and the ARCA Racing Series has raced there as recently as this past season with Zane Smith winning the race.

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Author Tim Southers