By: Ashley McCubbin
A single glance through the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule views a series of interesting events that have never taken place, or been part of the conversation for a couple years.
Nashville Superspeedway is part of those talks, hosting it’s first event National Series event in 10 years, and inaugural Cup event on Father’s Day weekend with the Ally 400.
“I view it as a big responsibility, but one that we’re certainly happy to execute on,” Track President Erik Moses told POPULAR SPEED. “This community at large loves racing, loves NASCAR, has a rich history of it, and we’re just excited to not only be part of the present of NASCAR racing in Middleton Tennessee, but certainly part of the future.”
The response from the fans has been strong thus far, with pre-sale reservations coming in as soon as the initial announcement was made about the event. However, there are questions about whether fans will be able to attend, and the amount in total, as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“I count myself as a generally optimistic person so I am going to keep my fingers crossed that we’ll be on the other side of this virus come June this year,” Moses commented. “I think as a live event planner and someone in this business for awhile, you always make sure to have a Plan B and contingency, and we’ll make sure we have that so we can create the right environment to keep our fans, staff, drivers, and all our attendees safe come June.”
The return of the speedway brings forth another big question – what will the trophy look like in victory lane? Fans through the late 2000s are very familiar with the Sam Bass hand-painted Gibson Guitars that were given out.
“In all seriousness, I’m well aware of that tradition and it was a great one, and the fact that those guitars were hand painted by Sam Bass whose no longer with us really puts them in a special place,” Moses said. “We have not yet announced or decided what our trophy will be, but it will be special I assure you, and we certainly do continue to cherish the Gibson guitar tradition. That’s all I can say right now but stay tuned.”
The only drawback since the initial announcement was the disappointment from some fans, who would have preferred to see the Nashville Fairgrounds on the schedule instead.
“We are focused on what we have going here at the Superspeedway, but I will tell you if any fans in the country deserve more Cup Series races, it’s the fans of Middleton, Tennessee,” Moses shared. “There’s a saying that a rising tide raises all boats, so we’re going to put on a good show with our partners at Ally and make sure our fans want to come back to the Ally 400 year after year, and if there’s more Cup Series in the marketplace, that’s good for the fans and good for the sport.”