The Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville has been hosting auto racing since 1958. The track has consistently faced opposition from political forces, but has continued on. In 2017, the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville will see racing for another year.
The Fairgrounds Board of Directors has approved the renewal of the lease for Tony Formosa to promote the speedway once again in 2017.
In 2016, the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville ran eight divisions of racing on a semi-weekly basis, headlined by the Pro Late Model division. Fairgrounds Speedway boasts one of the most successful Pro Late Model programs in the country with more than 50 drivers racing at the half-mile facility so far this year in that division alone.
“We’re really pleased to know that we’re going to have the speedway again,” said Formosa. “We’re going to work real hard to make it better than ever for 2017.
“This place is like home to me. My dad was one of the early pioneers who started racing in Middle Tennessee right here at the Fairgrounds. I’m really thrilled to know that I will get to carry the spear forward for not just the facility, but for stock car racing, for 2017 and hopefully many more years to come.”
This year the All American 400 turns 32 years old, and is returning to its roots at the Speedway.
The All American 400 will once again be a 400-lap race for Super Late Models. For the past few years the race has been a Pro Late Model event, but now the high-horsepower Super Late Models are returning and the All American 400 is back in its rightful position as one of the top short track racing events in America.
Racing at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds began in September 1915 with drivers bringing their Indianapolis 500 cars to race in Nashville. The new half-mile speedway was built at the Fairgrounds in 1958, featuring a quarter-mile oval that would use the frontstretch of the half-mile.
In 1959 the first NASCAR Grand National 200-lap race was run at the Fairgrounds Speedway. It featured 12 cars and all 12 finished the race.
In 1965, lights were added to the half-mile facility. In 1969 the track length was extended to the current 0.596-mile distance and the banking was increased to 35 degrees in the corners.
In the late 1970s, the banking was lowered to its current 18 degrees because the track was deemed too fast.
The Fairgrounds Speedway has seen legendary NASCAR drivers such as Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Sterling Marlin, Coo Coo Marlin and Dale Earnhardt all race and win at the legendary facility.
The 32nd Annual All American 400 takes place at the Fairgrounds Speedway on October 1 and 2. For more information, visit www.fairgroundsspeedwaynashville.com.
-51 Sports/Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman