2004 plans include Nashville
NASCAR Returns to Nashville's Historic Speedway NASHVILLE, TN - From this day forward, Nashville's historic speedway, located at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, will be officially re-named the Music City Motorplex. The re-branding of this ...
NASCAR Returns to Nashville's Historic Speedway
NASHVILLE, TN - From this day forward, Nashville's historic speedway, located at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, will be officially re-named the Music City Motorplex. The re-branding of this fabled 5/8-mile oval is the first of a number of sweeping changes planned. Another major change from 2003 will be the return of the facility to the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. The tentative weekend schedule for 2004 includes eleven weekly events and nine special events, with at least three events pending. Mid-week summer action will include "Thundering Thursdays" for a $5 admission, featuring racing on the ¼ mile track and special events along with "Fast and Furious Fridays," featuring street drag racing and dance parties.
The new management team includes Joe Mattioli, President; Jack Deery, General Manager; Rick Leonard, Marketing Director and John Robinson, Public Relations Consultant. Additional management personal, including a Competition Director, will be announced in the near future.
Planning for the 2004 season is already in motion, with participants meetings scheduled at 7pm on November 4th and 5th, at the Fairgrounds. Late Model and Super Truck participants meeting is set for Tuesday the 4th, and a meeting for all other divisions, including: Sportsman, Super Stock, Legends and Front Runners, is set for the Wednesday the 5th.
"We believe that the best days of short track racing and wholesome family entertainment in Nashville are ahead of us," commented Joe Mattioli. "This facility is legendary, and we believe it is our duty and responsibility to do everything in our power to restore it to its rightful stature as one of America's finest short tracks, while honoring its incredible heritage," Mattioli concluded.
The management team of the Music City Motorplex has identified a list of short-term objectives that it will pursue, focusing initially on participants and fans. For the participants, these objectives include fair and consistent officiating, lowered costs, multi-year rule stability and treating the competitors as the professionals that they are. All the classes that competed in 2003 will be back in 2004, as will optional crate engines for Late Models and Super Trucks. Some minor rule changes are possible, as a result of the scheduled meetings with participants.
An awards banquet honoring the 2003 Track Champions is also being planned for January. The new management feels that the drivers, crews, families and friends should be recognized for their accomplishments.
In 2004, drivers in the track's NASCAR Late Model Stock Car division will be eligible for NASCAR's regional and national championships and compete for their share of $1.7 million in post-season prize money posted by NASCAR. In addition, the tracks' Super Truck division drivers will compete in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series ShorTrack Division, a regional championship competition for support division racers. Music City Motorplex has produced two regional champions in the past -- the late Andy Kirby (1997 Heartland Region champion) and Joe Buford (1998 Heartland Region champion).
"This is a wonderful homecoming for the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series," said Chris Boals, director of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. "The fans and teams in Nashville have been a part of NASCAR for many, many years and we are thrilled to see them return to our series in 2004. The Music City Motorplex has played such an important role in NASCAR's history and produced many of our greatest drivers. This announcement is a great day for NASCAR, the city of Nashville and Davidson County."
For race fans, physical and esthetic improvements, clean restrooms, attractions for children, a friendly and courteous staff and wholesome family priced entertainment are at the top of the list.
"We are in the entertainment business and families are our core customers," commented General Manager, Jack Deery. "We are ready to demonstrate our intentions by offering an 'early bird' discounted season pass for a limited time, adults at $199.99, with young adults between the ages 7-11 priced at only $99.99, while children 6 and under will be admitted free as long as they are accompanied by an adult," Deery announced.
While the management team will focus its initial efforts on the racing facilities, it is looking forward to working with the Fair Board to develop a shared vision of what the Tennessee Fairgrounds can be, and to work hand in hand with the Fair Board to make that vision a reality.
The Music City Motorplex will host an open house and open practice on Saturday, March 20th, with the first event of 2004 set for Saturday, April 3rd, featuring twin 101 lap events for Late Models and twin 51 lap events for the Super Trucks. A sweep of both Late Model events will be worth a $5,000 bonus and a sweep of both Super Truck events will be worth $2,500. Adult General Admission tickets will be $10 in advance and $12 at the Gate. Tickets for young adults 7-11 will be priced at $5, with children 6 and under, admitted free.