What Happened To Nashville Speedway? [Facts!]

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Nashville Speedway.

Once the crown jewel of short-track racing, Nashville Speedway was on the verge of closing down in the ‘70s and was completely revitalized in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Then, like many other iconic racetracks, it fell victim to the vicissitudes of time, and the track now sits dormant and forlorn.

When the smoke cleared, the J.R. Miller Group had purchased the track and were in the process of upgrading and rebranding it. Unfortunately, the business partner of the late J.R. Miller passed away in late 2019, and work at the track ground to a halt. It’s unclear if the project will be completed or if the track will remain as it currently stands.

The Track Was At The Heart Of It All

For decades, Nashville Speedway was the jewel in the crown of short-track racing in Nashville, Tennessee. In the 1940s, the 1/2-mile oval was the longest track in the country. At one point, it was even considered the home track of legendary country music stars such as Johnny Cash and June Carter. The track was voted the “fifth most interesting sports arena in America” by the Sports Business Journal in 2013.

Nashville Speedway became the breeding ground for some of the greatest names in American motorsport. The racetrack was the ultimate proving ground, and the roster of drivers that raced there is etched in the memories of fans of all ages. Names like Rex Mays, Richard Petty, and Donnie Allison are just a few of the legends that called Nashville Speedway home. For decades, the one-of-a-kind facility stood as a testament to the passion and tradition of American motorcycling.

Sadly, things started to deteriorate in the ‘70s, and by the time J.R. Miller purchased the track in the ‘80s, it was in bad shape. Miller spent millions of his own money fixing up the track and adding lights for night racing. In addition, Miller hired some of the best NASCAR drivers to come and teach the locals how to race.

Things came full circle when the J.R. Miller Group purchased Nashville Speedway from the Estate of J.R. Miller. In the ‘90s, the track was completely renovated and resurfaced. The track hosted many different racing series, including NASCAR and the World Poker Tour. Local racing fans enjoyed the resurgence of the track, and it was once again the beating heart of NASCAR in the Nashville area.

Sadly, like many other racetracks, the vicissitudes of time caught up with Nashville Speedway. The track initially closed in 2002, but was brought back to life a few years later when the Miller Group announced that they would be investing millions of their own money in the project. Unfortunately, the project was never completed, and the track once again fell dormant.

The Track’s Future Is Uncertain

In the meantime, Nashville Speedway has stayed open as a track, but has only hosted a few races since 2014, the latest being the Nashville Night Race. Last year, the track celebrated its 80th anniversary, hosting a pair of NASCAR races and the World Poker Tour’s inaugural stop in the Volunteer State. But the future of the one-of-a-kind oval is uncertain. There have been no further announcements from the Miller Group regarding the status of the project. It remains to be seen if Nashville Speedway will ever see another racing season.

If you’ve never been there, you’re in for a treat. Nashville Speedway is a wonderful facility, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. But as much as we love going there, it’s uncertain if there will ever be another racing season. Be sure to check back with us soon for more information regarding this exciting and historic track.

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