The All-American 400, which has been run under different formats, series sanctions and types of short track race cars during its 30-year-history, will once again feature a different type of race car than ever before in its history when the event is held at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN) October 31 and November 1.
Track promoter Tony Formosa, Jr. confirmed via email to Southern Super Series officials, followed by an official press release announcement Wednesday and a phone conversation with Speed51.com, that this year’s All-American 400 will be Pro Late Model race. The event had been scheduled to be, for the second-straight season, the final points-paying event for the Super Late Models of the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco.
“In my heart I feel like this is the best decision for the speedway and our drivers,” Formosa said in his emailed notice to SSS officials, which was also sent to Speed51.com. “In today’s economy the cost of Super Late Model racing has become very unaffordable to most of the drivers. I want everyone to have a chance to be able to say they were able to run in the All-American 400, which is why I have made the decision to make this year’s All-American 400 an all Pro-Late Model race.”
Formosa unofficially announced the change before the July 12 Pro Late Model 100-lap event at the track. Up to that point, SSS officials had not been officially notified of the planned change, which Formosa admitted was a mistake.
“I do want to apologize to each and every one of you for making my announcement this past Saturday at my July 12th event before discussing it with you all as a group and letting you know I had made my final decision,” added Formosa. “Please understand I am in no way a perfect person nor do I live in a perfect world. It was my mistake in making my announcement before discussing it with the group first.
“I have nothing against the Southern Super Series,” Formosa told Speed51.com. “I like everyone involved with that group, Tim Bryant (Promoter, Five Flags Speedway), Ricky Brooks (Tech Director) and Dan Spence (Series Director) and all of them. The Pro Late Models were racing this past weekend and I made a mistake. I was just so excited to tell the competitors what the plan was that I mentioned it to them. I should have reached out to my friends at the Southern Super Series to let them know of my intentions before mentioning it to everyone.”
Moving forward, in that discussion with Speed51.com after his official announcement, Formosa said hea Ricky Brooks, the Southern Super Series Technical Director who also serves in similar roles at short track events throughout the country, will be discussing the format and rules for the now-Pro Late Model All-American 400 within the next week.
Brooks confirmed with 51 that he will be the head tech official at the All-American 400. Brooks told 51 that the event will be handled using mostly the current Fairgrounds Speedway Pro Late Model rulebook with one additional stipulation.
“It’ll mostly still be his rules, he just doesn’t really enforce body rules normally,” said Brooks of the PLM rules at Nashville. “I told him I couldn’t go there and not enforce bodies.”
Formosa also left the door open to work with a Pro Late Model sanctioning body for this race.
“If a series like the JEGS All Stars Tour wanted to talk about being involved with the All-American 400 I would discuss it with them,” said Formosa. “But, this race does not need one to make it happen. We are excited to make this the biggest Pro Late Model race in the country. It’s the All-American 400 and that in itself is a big deal.”
Southern Super Series Director Dan Spence told Speed51.com that an official statement from the Super Late Model tour regarding the Nashville cancellation will come on Thursday.
Additional format information and more regarding the October 31 and November 1 All-American 400 will be provided on FairgroundsSpeedwayNashville.com.
– By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director. Twitter: @MattKentfield