The Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee has more than just hard racing and good times on their schedule for the 2017 race season. Claire Formosa, Vice President of Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and her team have been hard at work to make sure that their 60th season is the biggest one yet. They’re also making sure the season opener sets the tone for the rest the year.
“This year’s season opener is going to be sponsored by Big Machine Records, which I am sure as you know is our biggest sponsor here at the speedway. Scott Borchetta is the one who originally brought the $5,000 purse to Nashville three years ago. So this is his baby,” Formosa told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
“He decided he wanted to do a Big Machine Family Day which is why we will be opening on a Sunday. There will be an Easter egg hunt and things like that. We are going to bring the feel of the ‘All American 400’ to the opening race. The ‘All American’ is on a Sunday and is a day race so we are going to try and bring that feeling into the season opener.”
Scott Borchetta, CEO and President of Big Machine Records, is a three-time Super Truck champion himself and decided that the division will make its return to the Fairgrounds as one of its premier divisions.
“Borchetta has decided to get rid of the Limited Late Model division, which included the trucks and the perimeter Late Models, and we are going back to an all truck division,” Formosa explained. “This is the first time in over a decade that the Super Trucks will be back for the entire year.”
The Super Truck division is a division that will only be found running full-time at the Fairgrounds, and they wanted to make sure that the division makes an entry back into the racing world.
“They don’t run them anywhere else in the country so this is the only place you can run a Super Truck. We have around 30 cars already registered for that division so it is looking like it is going to be a huge deal,” Formosa stated. “He (Borchetta) is going to pay $2,500 to win which will be sponsored by his newest brand that he has purchased, which is a Tennessee brand distillery and has purchased a liquor line. The class will be sponsored by Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey”
The Fairgrounds has more than just the season opener and newest division planned for the upcoming season. Formosa and the rest of the speedway staff want to make the entire season one for the books by upgrading and innovating the fan experience.
“We are working on a lounge area that will have TV’s and patio furniture as well as a craft beer section. We are making a lot of upgrades for fans,” she said. “We are going to be accepting credit cards and making ticket sales available online all season this year so if you don’t want to wait in line or pay cash you have other options. Really what we are trying to do is bring in this millennial crowd that we have been lacking. We are working on a deal with Comcast where we will have free Wi-Fi for the fans.”
If lounging around sipping craft beer and enjoying some good hard racing isn’t your style, the Fairgrounds is adding another addition that is sure to draw in another crowd of it’s own.
“For the first time in 20-30 years we will be serving liquor here at the speedway. We will have a selection of signature drinks and frozen drinks and well drinks and this is the only place that Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey will available for purchase to the public. So this is one of the first places you’ll be able to find it.”
The season kicks off Sunday, April 2, with the Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey Super Trucks and the Big Machine Records Pro Late Model division where Big Machine Records sponsored driver Dylan Fetcho will return to contend for a championship in the Pro Late Model.
For more information on Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, visit www.fairgroundsspeedwaynashville.com.
-Story by: Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/ Bruce Nuttleman