LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Last year Mayor John Cooper signed an agreement with Bristol Motor Speedway to revamp the track at the Fairgrounds Nashville to make it NASCAR ready.
“We are working with Bristol Motor Speedway on a proposal to renovate the historic 118-year-old Fairgrounds Speedway and bring the NASCAR Cup Series back to the Nashville Fairgrounds," said Chief Communications Officer and Senior Advisor to the Mayor TJ Ducklo, when asked for an update on the plan this week.
"The Mayor is committed to protecting Nashville taxpayers in what we believe can be an innovative partnership for the city,” he continued.
As NASCAR takes over the Nashville Superspeedway near Lebanon for a second year this weekend, the plan in Nashville begs the question of what that means for the track in Wilson County.
Will the current Cup Series race eventually move to Nashville?
"There's no indication that that’s going to be the case," said Nashville Superspeedway President and GM Erik Moses. "We believe and NASCAR believes that this market can support two cup races in the same market. And part of the reason is the Fairgrounds Speedway is a short track, it's half a mile, and we're an intermediate track at a mile and a third. So there's different racing that will happen at each of these."
Bristol Motor Speedway and the Nashville Superspeedway are both owned by Speedway Motorworks, which acquired the Nashville Superspeedway late last year.
Moses says there is no internal competition between the two.
"Frankly in this sport we're committed to creating a tide that raises all boats. What's good for racing, whats good for NASCAR, what's good for motorsports, is good for all of us," Moses said.
It would still be years before races could happen at the Fairgrounds, due to the renovations and additional steps before the project can move forward. In November, the Mayor's office said a financial consultant would need to put together a report on the financial feasibility of the project.
This week the Mayor's office would not respond to questions about whether a consultant had begun working to that end.
But Council Member Colby Sledge, who represents the area, says he's not aware of any forward momentum on the project.