Nashville track won't seek 2012 dates
GLADEVILLE, Tenn. (AP)
The Nashville Superspeedway is going out of business unless someone else thinks they can do better.
Dover Motorsports Inc. announced Wednesday it won't hold NASCAR races at the concrete track in 2012 and may put the superspeedway up for sale. The track's website sums it up: ''Thanks for the Memories!''
The company has been trying unsuccessfully to secure a NASCAR Sprint Cup race since 2001. Kentucky hosted its first Sprint Cup race in July, and Dover decided it couldn't continue without getting onto NASCAR's top schedule.
''But the reality is after 10 years of effort we have to face the fact that without a Spring Cup race and/or a significant change in the operating model for other events, we simply cannot continue,'' general manager Cliff Hawks said in a statement.
Dover opened the 1.33-mile track 10 years ago. The superspeedway has hosted NASCAR trucks and Nationwide races with two dates on each series this year and also had a slot on the Indy Racing League schedule before losing that after the 2008 season.
Dover Motorsports president Denis McGlynn said they had years of support from local, county and state officials and fans.
''We are, however, at a juncture where we must evaluate all of our options for this track, including its possible sale,'' McGlynn said in a statement.
Nashville had been on NASCAR's schedule for the top circuit until 1984.
Dover unveiled ambitious plans for the superspeedway with the ability to expand to up to 150,000 seats along with a dirt track, a short track and a drag strip. Lights were installed along with 25,000 permanent grandstand seats for night racing.
The track landed a prime spot on NASCAR's Nationwide circuit, hosting the series annually on Easter weekend when plenty of top drivers took advantage of the Sprint Cup series being off. But landing a Sprint Cup race was the target all along, and Dover never got Nashville squeezed into NASCAR's top schedule.
The superspeedway faced competition from too many tracks just a short drive away in Bristol, Talladega and now Kentucky.
''NASCAR appreciates the efforts by the Nashville Superspeedway team and the support and enthusiasm the fans have shown during our 10 years racing there,'' said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's senior vice president for racing operations in a statement.