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Nashville Will Not Follow Gateway Out The Door

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, July 30 2010

It appears the lights will stay on at Nashville Superspeedway for at least another season. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Dover Motorsports has canceled next year’s NASCAR races at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois, after closing the company’s Memphis track last year – a dismal reminder about the sport’s financial state of affairs.

However, another Dover track, Nashville Superspeedway, is making plans for the 2011 season and track spokesman Cliff Hawks maintains a positive outlook.

“We’re in talks with some potential new sponsors for next year, including one possible five-year deal,’ said Hawks, the track’s vice president and general manager.

As for the grim Gateway news:

“It’s tough to see a sister track not be on the schedule next year, but it will have no impact on our operation,” Hawks said. “I remain very optimistic about our track’s future.”

When Dover closed its Memphis track the Superspeedway inherited its NASCAR Camping World Series race. However, Hawks said his track will receive none of the three lost Gateway events – two Nationwide Series races and a truck race. Where those races will end up – or even if they will be on the schedule – has not has not been determined.

“We already have our schedule planned for 2011 – two Nationwide Series races and two Camping World Series races,” Hawks said.

“The only thing that we haven’t finalized is our hope that we can run two doubleheader weekends next year. Earlier this season ran a Nationwide/truck series doubleheader and the response was very positive. We’re got our fingers crossed that we can run two such doubleheaders next season.”

Consolidating next year’s four races into two weekends would reduce the track’s expenses but it also would condense the amount of exposure it receives. Attention would be focused on the facility, located in the Nashville suburbs of Gladeville, for only two weekends a year.

According to this week’s announcement by Dover Motorsports, Inc., Gateway International Speedway will proceed with its 2010 schedule that includes an Oct. 23 Nationwide race in which Danica Patrick is scheduled to participate. But without any NASCAR events next year, the track’s fate is sealed.

“Economics dictate that we evaluate all of our options for this facility, including its possible sale,” said Denis McGlynn, Dover Motorsports president and CEO.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, July 30 2010
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  • Budreaux says:

    Maybe, just maybe, when the super speedway at Nashville falters, NASCAR will have the good sense to move the race back to its rightful place at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.