The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will return to tradition-rich Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in 2015, officials from ARCA, the Fairgrounds and Track Enterprises announced today.
The national championship stock car tour will contest a 200-lap race on the .596-mile, high banked paved oval on Saturday, April 11. Since the series’ inception in 1953, there have been 23 races at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, but none since David Green won there in 1992.
“Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville is a destination track for racers and fans, and is located in an important market for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “Our Series has a rich history of racing at the track, and we look forward to bringing our superspeedway-style full-size stock cars, featuring racing with live pit stops, back to Nashville in a long distance event.”
The first ARCA Racing Series race at the historic track, held June 21, 1959, was won by three-time ARCA champion Nelson Stacy, who would go on to win four races in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Other notable race winners include Jack Bowsher, Red Farmer, Ramo Stott, Coo Coo Marlin and David Green. A long list of talented local drivers including Darrell Waltrip and Marty Robbins also drove in ARCA races at the storied Fairgrounds oval.
“We at Track Enterprises are excited and proud to bring the ARCA Series back to Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville,” said Track Enterprises President Bob Sargent, a recipient of the national RPM Workshops Promoter of the Year Award. “The ARCA race events we present at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, and annually at the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile dirt tracks in Springfield and DuQuoin, are very popular with the fans and always competitive and exciting. We feel very confident we can have the same success with this event. The effort to bring the ARCA Series to Nashville has been a team effort, and Executive Director Buck Dozier and his staff at the Nashville Expo Center have been great to work with. Our plan is to bring the national stature and exposure of the ARCA event to Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville and blend it with the existing schedule of motorsports established by Tony Formosa, Jr. We feel this is a significant development for auto racing in this market, and one we intend to commit to long term.”
While racing began at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds as early as 1904, the track which evolved into the current day Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville held its first race in 1958. The track was home to 42 NASCAR Sprint Cup races from 1958-1984 with Richard Petty leading all drivers with nine wins followed by Darrell Waltrip with eight. Other Cup winners include Joe Weatherly, David Pearson, Bobby Isaac, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Benny Parsons and Dale Earnhardt. The NASCAR Xfinity Series raced there nine times from 1984-2000, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series held five races from 1996-2000. Under the management of promoter Tony Formosa, Jr. the track continues to present regularly scheduled races throughout the summer months, highlighted by the annual All American 400.
Despite the absence of the ARCA Racing Series at Fairgrounds Speedway, the series maintained a presence in the Nashville market, conducting 15 races at Nashville Superspeedway in nearby Lebanon from 2001-2008. Winners of those races include Ken Schrader, Frank Kimmel, Kyle Busch and Scott Speed. Other notable drivers competing in those events include Jason Jarrett, Casey Atwood, Cale Gale, Brian Scott, Erin Crocker, Chase Montgomery, Shawna Robinson, Justin Labonte, Justin Allgaier, Steven Wallace and Clint Bowyer.
More details on the event will be released soon including times and ticket information.
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.
The complete 2015 ARCA Racing Series schedule will be announced Wednesday.