NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is preparing to push "play" for the fourth consecutive season at tradition-rich Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. The Music City 200, part of an ARCA-Super Late Model double-header, is coming Friday and Saturday, April 6-7.
The 200-lap ARCA national tour finale Saturday night will be preceded by a combined ARCA/CRA Super Series, Southern Super Series and CARS Late Model Tour main event to set the stage.
The second event of the season for the ARCA Racing Series, on the heels of Daytona, will mark the 27th ARCA appearance at Nashville since its debut on the historic short track in 1959 when three-time ARCA champion Nelson Stacy won the inaugural 300-lap race. ARCA raced at Nashville up through 1992. After a 23-year hiatus, Track Enterprises brought the tour back in 2015. Track Enterprises will again be promoting the big weekend of racing at Nashville.
Daytona race winner Michael Self and Daytona pole winner Natalie Decker are planning to participate in a test session at Nashville March 28, as is their Venturini Motorsports teammate Christian Eckes.
"Believe me...I can't wait to get back in the Sinclair Oil Toyota at Nashville," said Self. "Fortunately, I'll be testing with my teammates at the end of the month. I've never raced there; but I went with Riley Herbst last year for the test."
Self, of Salt Lake City, Utah, comes to Nashville on the strength of back-to-back ARCA victories going back to last year's season finale at Kansas. Self is also candid about why he's so eager to get back in the ARCA car.
"The ARCA car is, hands-down, absolutely my favorite car to drive."
Self's teammate Natalie Decker will also be competing. Decker made big headlines in the season-opener at Daytona, winning the General Tire Pole and finishing a career-best 5th. The Eagle River, Wis. driver has never seen the track.
"It's kind of hard when you've never been to the track," said Decker. "We'll be testing the week before and that's going to help so much. In the meantime, I'll get my iRacing set up and listen to all the advice I can from my Venturini Motorsports team. My crew chief Dave Leiner has been there a bunch so that will help a lot too."
ARCA Nashville Fairgrounds Roots go back to 1959
Three-time ARCA national champion Nelson Stacy was ARCA's inaugural winner at Nashville in 1959. Other notable race winners/champions at Nashville include Jack Bowsher (ARCA champion), Don White (USAC Stock Car champion), Harold Smith (ARCA champion), Ramo Stott (ARCA champion), Moose Myers (ARCA champion), Marvin Smith (ARCA champion), David Green (NASCAR Xfinity champion) and 2015 ARCA champion Grant Enfinger. Chad Finley won last year's Music City 200. Other ARCA winners at Nashville include Andy Hampton, Red Farmer and Coo Coo Marlin, all of whom were track champions in their own locales. Nineteen-time ARCA winner Bob Schacht won three consecutive at Nashville in 1981, '82 and '83.
More Nashville Fairgrounds History
While racing began at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds as early as 1904, the track which evolved into the current day Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville held its first race in 1958. The track was also home to 42 NASCAR Cup races from 1958-1984 with Richard Petty leading all drivers with nine wins followed by Darrell Waltrip with eight. Other Cup winners include Joe Weatherly, David Pearson, Bobby Isaac, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Benny Parsons and Dale Earnhardt. The NASCAR Xfinity Series raced there nine times from 1984-2000, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series held five races from 1996-2000.
Hauler parking and Super Late Model practice is scheduled for Friday, April 6, while all racing festivities are set for Saturday, April 7 with practice beginning at 12 noon with qualifying following at 3 p.m. Racing begins at 5:45. General admission presale tickets are available for a $5 per ticket discount at https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1138614&store=17617 or by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.
-ARCA Press Release
-Photo credit: ARCA