Chase Elliott: NASCAR Needs to Make Nashville the Permanent Home for Its Yearly Awards Show and Fairgrounds Race
The calls have been made, and Chase Elliott, the 2020 NASCAR Cup champion, is leading the charge.
The popular Elliott wants to give NASCAR a new home, Nashville, Tennessee.
Well, make that two new homes.
Elliott champions the push to bring NASCAR back to Nashville
First, Elliott is pushing for the series to return to one of the places he calls home, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Larson learned to race at the short track. He also took the checkered flag during the Camping World Superstar Racing Experience race last July 17.
The second is giving NASCAR Champion’s Week an annual place of residence. Champion’s Week is returning to Music City USA for a three-day national series awards banquet, beginning Nov. 30. The event closes on Dec. 2 with the Cup Series awards ceremony.
Of course, the year Elliott captured his first title, the 2020 version of Champion’s Week in Nashville was canceled because of coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. Elliott does not plan on missing this year’s gala.
He has another reason to go. Elliott will celebrate the 2021 title Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kyle Larson, earned, but he does have an arterial motive.
The Tennessee capital first hosted the end-of-season event in 2019. The show was a hit, highlighted by Kyle Busch accepting accolades for claiming his second points, the Burnouts on Broadway, and all the musical events.
Along with Nashville Superspeedway staging a NASCAR weekend last August, stock-car racing appears to be rediscovering a piece of its history. The superspeedway event was the region’s first in 37 years.
Nashville officials negotiating to bring racing to the region’s fairgrounds and superspeedway
Nashville Mayor John Cooper reached an agreement with Bristol Motor Speedway to bring NASCAR Cup Series racing back to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway by 2023, according to The Tennessean.
An official statement likely will be delivered during Champion’s Week. As part of the deal, Bristol Motor Speedway will manage and operate the fairgrounds track and claim responsibility for renovating the site, initially constructed in 1904.
The .596-mile short track hosted premier Cup events from 1958-84. The Xfinity Series last staged a race there in 2000. The 2022 NASCAR schedule remains locked, but an opening exists for 2023, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said on Nov. 5.
“I don’t know what the ’23 schedule is going to look like, but I know it’s not going to look like the ’22 schedule,” Phelps said, reported by nbcsports.com.
Elliott: ‘Whatever they need to do to make it happen is what they need’
Elliott continues to call for the Nashville market to host additional races, and the awards show. He is pointing to the sellout crowd of about 40,000 fans at the August superspeedway showcase and the novelty of the awards ceremonies two years ago.
“Whatever they need to do to make it happen is what they need,” Elliott said. “It’s tied to my upbringing or path to NASCAR, so I think in that sense it makes it special.”
Going home can be special.