After winning a star-studded SRX Racing finale at the Nashville Fairgrounds on Saturday, Chase Elliott made his case for U.S. auto racing’s premier organization to make its return to the famed track.
"I hope this weekend continues to add to the conversation and the positivity of what a [NASCAR] Cup race would do for [the] city and how much fun it would be,” Elliott said after beating an SRX field that included his father, Bill Elliott, as well as Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Marco Andretti and Bobby Labonte.
Then prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 in New Hampshire, in which he placed third, Elliott again petitioned for a NASCAR return to the Fairgrounds Speedway — this time at the expense of the Nashville Superspeedway.
“Just the atmosphere of the Fairgrounds, the energy last night was absolutely unbelievable,” Elliott told reporters. “I wish all of you all had been there to see it. It was nuts. It just further made double sure that’s where we belong in my eyes.
“I’ve always felt that way, but that other track [Nashville Superspeedway] is not the answer. The energy is right there in town, and we don’t need to search any further. That’s it for that city. No doubt.”
The Superspeedway in Gladeville last month hosted the Ally 400, the first NASCAR Cup Series race in the Nashville area in 37 years. Fairgrounds Speedway hasn’t hosted a NASCAR race since Geoff Bodine’s Pepsi 420 win in 1984.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Bristol Motor Speedway executives signed a letter of intent in March that would make BMS the track's new lease holder and make the company financially responsible for renovating the track in hopes to bring it up to NASCAR standards to potentially host a future race.
Although the proposed deal hit a bit of a snag in May when several residents of the area opposed the idea at a Board of Fair Commissioners meeting, citing concerns over increased noise, traffic, and other issues, bringing NASCAR back to the city's storied track appears to be at the top of Cooper's priority list.
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