Kingsport Times-News: BMS reaches agreement with Nashville promoters
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BMS reaches agreement with Nashville promoters

Jeff Birchfield • Dec 20, 2018 at 12:22 AM

BRISTOL — Bristol Motor Speedway announced Wednesday an agreement with Formosa Productions Inc. to explore bringing major NASCAR racing events to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

The track, which is the second oldest continuously operated race track in America behind only the Milwaukee Mile, held its first race on June 14, 1904. The property hosted 42 NASCAR Cup Series races from 1958-94 with Richard Petty winning nine races and Franklin resident Darrell Waltrip scoring eight victories. The track was also the site of nine Xfinity Series races from 1984-2000 and five Truck Series races from 1996-2000.

In recent years, the track has hosted a limited schedule for local racers and special Late Model events, including the prestigious All-American 400 with the 34th edition scheduled for April 13-14, 2019.

Formosa Productions has a multi-year contract with the Metro Nashville Board of Fair Commissioners to promote and manage the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and operate a liTennmited number of local racing events.

BMS and Formosa Productions, which will continue to lead local racing efforts, have signed a contract to work on a long-range plan of significant track improvements and high-profile race events that could include NASCAR events upon the facility meeting standards.

“This is terrific news for fans of racing and drivers all across the country and will bring a brighter future for Nashville Fairgrounds,” said Tony Formosa, president of Formosa Productions. “I’m excited to work with Bruton and Marcus Smith and the Bristol team, who I feel will bring this historic facility back to where it belongs. Today marks an exciting new beginning for the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.”

The racing history at the Fairgrounds dates back to the 1800s when it was the site of horse racing. It has been reported in recent months of hopes bringing the Xfinity and Truck Series back to Music City, which has been without a major racing series since the Nashville Superspeedway in nearby Gladeville hosted its last NASCAR races in 2011.

“Tony and our team both see the same bright future for Fairgrounds Speedway,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “Nashville has a special reputation as one of the most exciting tracks in the history of motorsports, and the region has a remarkably large and passionate fan base.

“The motorsports industry — the sanctioning bodies, drivers and race teams — is excited about Nashville’s potential to be a regular site for major events. With Metro supportive of that vision, we are eager to start working tomorrow with the city, Tony and other stakeholders at the Fairgrounds and beyond to develop a first-class racing facility and program.”

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