This weekend, the much-anticipated running of the 34thAnnual All American 400 takes place at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) after weather postponed the event from its traditional fall date. Speedway promoter Tony Formosa joined Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring” Monday to discuss the historic event.
Due to the rescheduling of the race from last November, the Super Late Model portion of the event has been shortened from 400 laps to 300. Formosa noted during the interview this has been well-received by drivers.
Not only will this ease the workload on teams and the track with 2019 now effectively hosting two editions of the marquee event, but it is a benefit to the local teams who are kicking off the 2019 chase for track championships and will be back at the Fairgrounds in two weeks’ time.
“Changing that thing from a 400 to a 300, we kind of did a survey on that,” Formosa explained. “We got to thinking about it and said it would probably be a little bit easier, especially since they have to come back in a couple of weeks for a points race. Just thinking about down the line for November. You’ve got to use your head when you’re doing an All American 400 twice in one year. I think the guys really appreciate it.”
The rescheduling has also provided one unintended benefit in terms of star power. NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch was not entered for last November’s event, competing that day at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch still has a Cup obligation this weekend, but NASCAR’s premier series competes Saturday night at Richmond Raceway (VA). Thus, he has joined the field for Sunday’s Super Late Model race, taking advantage of a Sunday off to chase the signature guitar trophy for All American 400 winners.
“The local guys are really excited to get to race against him,” Formosa said about Busch. “I was talking to Willie Allen and Bubba Pollard and they’re really looking forward to racing against him. He’s really excited about coming and trying to win the All American 400.
“They tested for two days and they were really good,” Formosa added. “I talked to him a little bit, and he said he’s coming to win this race. There’s no doubt about it. We’re looking forward to having him and selling an average of about 600 tickets a day with people asking about him left and right.”
Formosa also expects Harrison Burton to be a driver to watch this weekend, another racer with plenty of success who has not previously won the race.
“You have so many guys, like Harrison Burton, looking for his first All American 400 win,” Formosa said. “I look for Harrison to be tough competition. It’s going to be a great show, with all of our local stuff, the Pro Late Models, a lot of the guys running the Supers are running the Pro, too, for 100 laps.”
Even with a slightly-abbreviated Super Late Model feature, Sunday’s racing card will feature more than 500 laps of racing at the venerable facility, ranging from the Super Late Models and Pro Late Models sprinting around the 5/8-mile high-banked oval to the local classes on the quarter-mile infield bullring,
That volume of racing comes at a bargain for fans as well, with a grandstand ticket costing just $15 for adults, with discounts available for senior citizens, military and children.
“Saturday, we’re going to practice and qualify, and Sunday we’re just going to race,” said Formosa. “In the past, the All American has been a two-day racing show. This year, what we’re going to do is make it a one-day racing show with everything on Sunday. I think that will be better for the fans. If they want to watch practice and qualifying, it’ll be free, the grandstands will be open. They can watch all the practice and qualifying they want. On Sunday, we’ll start at 12:00 with driver introductions and you’ll get to see the 34thAnnual All American 400.”
Fans who missed “The Morning Bullring” and wish to see the show and Formosa’s interview in its entirety can click here for the on-demand replay of the broadcast. Fans can also visit the Speed 51 Five Star Bodies Facebook Feed to watch the replay of the broadcast.
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-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo