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Speedway's end hurts Middle Tennessee

Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2011, at 1:50 PM

Nashville Superspeedway's owners announced this morning they're shutting down at the end of the year.

The Gladeville track's owners said the lack of a Sprint Cup race destroyed its financial viability.

It's a loss for Middle Tennessee. Nashville's supposedly too close to too many other tracks with races, such as Talladega, Atlanta, Bristol and maybe even Kentucky. And there are only so many top-level NASCAR races to go around.

But considering the market size population-wise of Middle Tennessee, plus its central location for so many NASCAR fans, it does sort of surprise me someone couldn't have worked out something. It's a loss for Middle Tennessee sports fans.

Maybe someone can step in and save the track. Or will it be plowed up for houses or business/industrial land?

Remember back in, I think it was the late 1980s, when a track was proposed for U.S. 231 South just past New Center Church Road south of Shelbyville? It would have been on what then and is still now farmland, part of which forms sort of a natural bowl. Makes me wonder what would happened if that track had actually been built?

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It is sad that the track is closing down for now, but in reality, they haven't been able to sell it out for the last few years. Evidently, there is not enough interest from the local or regional fan base to support it. If I'm not mistaken, attendance for NASCAR and Sprint Cup races is down in general, so I'm sure that hurts the smaller venues as well. Maybe it will return some day.

-- Posted by volfanatic on Thu, Aug 4, 2011, at 10:10 AM

NASCAR itself is all about money these days. I guess it had to happen sooner or later. The last 20 years has seen the sport that was set into tradition by good ole southern boys be eaten alive by multi car teams and billion dollar sponsorship deals that all but guarantee that the teams with the most money are the only teams that can keep a competitive edge. The days of the owner/driver are long gone. I've been a NASCAR fan most of my life, but I haven't been to a race in years due to not only the overwhelming increase in cost, but coming to the realization that money itself more often than not determines who finishes first on race day.

The superspeedway is a great track and an exciting one to attend, but the France family is dead set on bringing their asphalt circles of greed to the Northwest in Oregon and beyond.

Now for the best racing bang for the buck, go back to your local dirt track, where the action is close and the drivers are mostly people you see around town every day. No multi million dollar sponsorships are necessary when you've got a can of spray paint for applying your numbers and letters. And the concession stand won't require that you mortgage your home in order to purchase a coke and a burger.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Aug 4, 2011, at 5:57 AM

That is a sad state of events. That is really a nice race track and well located. It seems to me that the races that they were able to hold were well attended.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 12:53 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.