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Nashville Fairgrounds


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If NASCAR cared even in the slightest about it's fans, it's roots and the history of what it is this would have a chance; the truth is that it will end up rotting away like so many other tracks that don't have the TV angles and big market pull that NASCAR wants. I'm not sure if it's the racer's attitude of use it till it's out of date then throw it away, an American mentality of bigger is better or just a lack of attention span but the tracks all over this country that made racing what it is are closing at an alarming rate.

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I grew up at this track litterally. My late grandfather ran the concessions for the track and the fairgrounds for MANY years. I was lucky every Saturday night I was there and I got to see some great racing and some great drivers. Unfortnately I have never had the opportunity to race there. Hopefully DW and Sterling will be able to save this great track and facility so that many more races can be run there in the future. This place is very dear to my heart and I would hate to see them shut it down.

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Just heard from my brother in TN that the Nashville city council voted last night NOT to demolish the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and will study other business ventures for that area first. Problem now is that they will not approve any lease for the track over a one year period and no promoters want to invest on such a short term basis. Sterling Marlin and other investors have requested a 5 year lease on the racetrack property and would make needed improvements should they get that long a lease. They indicated they would put noise abatement walls around the track to stop the complaints from the nearby residents if they get a long term lease. As I heard it, a petition to save the track got over 30,000 signatures and a counter petition to demolish the track netted 7 signatures total.

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  • 6 months later...

Since the last post on this subject, much has happened at the Fairgrounds speedway and they are running a 7 race schedule this summer which hopefully will include an All American race in late October. Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and others have signed a two year lease on the track and have good financial support. They have run races this year the latest on July 2nd where they had 24 LMs start along with good car counts in other classes.

Here is the latest I have received from my contact in Nashville.

The superspeedway actually located in Smyrna, has indicated that they will not seek a NASCAR truck or Nationwide race for the 2012 season. IRL did not schedule a race there for this season. So this could mean the "big" track will be either closed or operating with a different association in 2012. This could benefit the Fairgrounds Speedway as they could seek a NASCAR Truck date and possibly even a Nationwide date.

To be able to run this year, the Fairgrounds promoters had agreed to build a sound wall along the backstretch and require all cars to run special mufflers so to get NASCAR event they would have to agree to the mufflers. Should be interesting to see how things turn out and this could well mean the rebirth of the Music City Fairgrounds Speedway.

I searched for this on line but found nothing on this but so far to date my Nashville conrfidant has been pretty accurate with the information he has passed on to me. Fingers crossed. I love the All American 400!!!

Dano

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Since the last post on this subject, much has happened at the Fairgrounds speedway and they are running a 7 race schedule this summer which hopefully will include an All American race in late October. Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and others have signed a two year lease on the track and have good financial support. They have run races this year the latest on July 2nd where they had 24 LMs start along with good car counts in other classes.

Here is the latest I have received from my contact in Nashville.

The superspeedway actually located in Smyrna, has indicated that they will not seek a NASCAR truck or Nationwide race for the 2012 season. IRL did not schedule a race there for this season. So this could mean the "big" track will be either closed or operating with a different association in 2012. This could benefit the Fairgrounds Speedway as they could seek a NASCAR Truck date and possibly even a Nationwide date.

To be able to run this year, the Fairgrounds promoters had agreed to build a sound wall along the backstretch and require all cars to run special mufflers so to get NASCAR event they would have to agree to the mufflers. Should be interesting to see how things turn out and this could well mean the rebirth of the Music City Fairgrounds Speedway.

I searched for this on line but found nothing on this but so far to date my Nashville conrfidant has been pretty accurate with the information he has passed on to me. Fingers crossed. I love the All American 400!!!

Dano

there is going to be an all american this year cant remember date but read article last week on speed51.CRA is doing the super late model race

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The All American 400 is tentatively set for October 29-30. The CRA Racing series is sanctioning the Super Late Model portion, which is scheduled for 200 laps.

 

The track website seems to be down, so not sure what comprises the rest of the show.

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i'd guess '91?

 

 

Good guess! Can't believe it's been 20 years. This was the year Purvis crossed the line first. But, after NASCAR found some unsecured weight in the car they gave the win to Junior Hanley. A few weeks later they gave the win back to Purvis.

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That was indeed the 1991 AA400 at Nashville. By then All Pro was owned/sanctioned by nascar; hence the Winston stickers on all the cars. Darrell Waltrip is in the #17, and that was the first year he drove for Western Auto. Bill Elliott in the #84, Scott Hansen in the #53, Junior Hanley in the #72. Jody Ridley is in the #98, Jeff Purvis is in the #51 that is hard to read coming under the checkers. The lone Texan in this race was John Kelly in the Tom Mitchell Circle Bar Corral Ford.

I am not sure of the #90. usually that number was run by Russ Uhrlin of Canada, but he was not in this race. The turbo blue sponsorship was usually Mike Alexander, who was in this race, and may have converted to 90 since Elliott was in a #84 and was the higher qualified car. However, The official race results have Alexander in a Chevrolet; and this car is a Buick. Might be a misprint.

 

Paposse, you mentioned weight found in Purvis's car. You may have heard this, but there was a big story going around at the time that Hanley threw the weight into the Purvis car. I do not know if it was ever substantiated or resolved wither way.

 

What is sad about the grandstand pic is the size of the crowd. When Bob Harmon was running All Pro, they loaded that place up. I went to the first two AA400s, and the odd one after that, and it was wall to wall fans.

 

Fin St Driver

1 3 Jeff Purvis Chevrolet 400 running

2 6 Junior Hanley Ford 400 running

3 11 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 400 running

4 10 Jody Ridley Ford 400 running

5 28 Jason Keller Chevrolet 399 running

6 4 Bill Elliott Ford 398 running

7 25 Doris Vaughn Chevrolet 396 running

8 18 Rick Crawford Chevrolet 395 running

9 13 Randy Porter Chevrolet 394 running

10 5 Dave Mader III Chevrolet 394 running

11 32 Bart Ingram Chevrolet 394 running

12 8 Mike Alexander Chevrolet 392 running

13 39 Scott Lovelady Chevrolet 390 running

14 34 Charlie Stokes Buick 387 running

15 14 Tim Steele Chevrolet 384 accident

16 23 Gary Bradberry Buick 384 accident

17 1 Bob Senneker Ford 384 accident

18 7 Dick Trickle Chevrolet 384 running

19 30 Donnie Bishop Chevrolet 366 running

20 33 David Russell Chevrolet 366 running

21 15 Mike Garvey Chevrolet 340 running

22 34 Ron Young Chevrolet 304 ignition

23 17 Steve Holzhausen Chevrolet 291 accident

24 37 John Kelly Ford 280 accident

25 26 Billy Bigley Jr. Chevrolet 244 running

26 19 Rich Bickle Chevrolet 238 camshaft

27 22 Mark Day Chevrolet 216 engine

28 16 Jeff Green Chevrolet 209 valve

29 36 Tammy Jo Kirk Chevrolet 179 engine

30 2 Bobby Gill Chevrolet 116 engine

31 21 Lee Faulk Chevrolet 112 rear end

32 40 Chad Chaffin Chevrolet 109 accident

33 31 Sidney Minton Buick 102 transmission

34 12 Scott Hansen Ford 86 valve

35 29 Mark Green Chevrolet 39 valve

36 20 Hal Goodson Ford 36 accident

37 38 Sammy Pegram Buick 27 handling

38 24 Clay Brown Chevrolet 8 accident

39 9 Bobby Hamilton Chevrolet 8 accident

40 27 Bryan Reffner Chevrolet 8 accident

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txtom,

 

I've heard those stories - who knows what to believe. It just adds to the great history of this event!

 

I want to say the picture of the stands was taken the day before the 400, prior to the qualifying races and a Dash Series race. My memory is fading, but I want to say they had a pretty good sized crowd.

 

Bob Harmon continued to promote the All-Pro series if I remember correctly....when I called about ordering tickets for this race I actually spoke to him. He was a heck of a promoter - I called to inquire about tickets. After I got off the phone they were purchased and I was ready to go campout at the track!

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nascar is eroding itself within. they have sold out to big money and dont care about fans only lining running a big business. I cant blame them making money is what its all about i guess. but the nationwide races from the short track orp,iowa,nashville, etc have been better than the cup races. I have watched more nationwide races this season than boring cookie cutter 1.5 mile track cup races. they need to shorten the shows limit pit stops or run shorter tracks to make races more fun to watch. Nashville is a great track sad to see it go, i am sure dover is next to lose a date.

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Good to hear about the AA 400 being run again this year. I am pretty sure that they can pick up some LM series to run the first part of the 400 as they have in ghe past. Last year they had a great crowd there. And I understand they are doing OK this year fan wise. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that the fairgrounds will remain open so Jeff and I have stories to swap.

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After looking again at PAPosse's pics, the #90 Buick was Mike Alexander, so he did renumber due to Elliott having the higher qualifying spot.

 

And I did not think ahead that that could be a preliminary day on the crowd Posse. I loked back and found that Harmon was still promoting in '91, so I am sure he had a great crowd come race day.

 

Such a shame that All Pro is no longer around, nor is the great Bob Harmon.

 

A story about Harmon and the way he treated his racers--- Summer 89/90, I am at a Pensacola/Mobile doubleheader with Greg Davidson. Friday at Pcola there was a lower dollar team pitted about a car from us, and they had borrowed a couple small things and tools. Harmon came by after the races asking if we were going to Mobile the next night, which we were.

He went over to the low dollar guys, asked them same thing, and they responded they would like to, but had no money for tires. He told them "Look here, you come to Mobile, I will get you some tires." They were at Mobile the next day, and Harmon came up to them and told them to take 4 wheels to the tire guy, he had tires for them that were already paid for. He then handed them decals to put on their car of a company he talked into covering their tire bill for the night. Thought the driver was going to kiss Harmon.

 

If that is not a great example of a promoter taking care of his racers, then I do not know what would be........

 

I still have the round All Pro decal on my toolbox, as well as a hat displayed in the new man cave.

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Uncle Bob was one of a kind and the best in the business.

 

My Bob Harmon memory was one of the AllPro races at SA in late 80's. We were working on some of the scoring up in the press box and sitting right next to him. Earlier in the night, he got told that the toilets were backed up downstairs. He stormed out down the stairs and comes back in a few minutes and said "must be the only idiot in this place that knows how to work a &^%$%plunger...now let's see them blasted things back up again..."......a little later, the PA system was giving him fits......Bob smoked like a chimney and had his ashtray cup of old coffee and his drinking cup of coffee.......well, he gets so steamed at the PA system that he took a swig out of the wrong one. He was green for awhile.....but fought thru it. We were rolling on the floor.

 

Purvis memory....sort of Days of Thunder "go hit the pace car, cuz you hit everything else, I want you to be perfect" moment. Got on a plane in Pcola headed to Atlanta Sunday evening after the 97 Derby in which Purvis had bounced around off most of the field. Someone with Purvis' crew walks down the aisle and announces "Yeah I work for "Never Nervous Jeff Purvis and Damn it, we hit everything but the Florida Lottery this weekend!!!"

 

Billy

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Good to hear about the AA 400 being run again this year. I am pretty sure that they can pick up some LM series to run the first part of the 400 as they have in ghe past. Last year they had a great crowd there. And I understand they are doing OK this year fan wise. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that the fairgrounds will remain open so Jeff and I have stories to swap.

 

 

Found some more info about the AA 400. CRA is running a 200 lapper on Sunday. The USST Trucks will have a 100 lap race on Saturday and that leaves 100 laps for the local divisions. So far the info about the last 100 laps has not been released. Here is a link for the USST Trucks--hope it works. http://www.usstracing.com/zIndex.php?Divis...releasehome.php

 

We'll be down there doing the scanner frequencies for the entire weekend so as the date approaches check out the website http://www.greatlakesfreq.com for the lists.

 

L McMurray

Great Lakes Racing Frequencies

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Lou,

 

It was good to see your post above. I have a few of the radio frequencies for our Late Models, Modifieds, Trucks and Allison Legacys. We've been trying to get them all year! If you'll send me a PM with your e-mail address, I'll get them to you.

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Most of the Houston trucks will pass tech in the USST rule set. It would be great to see some Pro Trucks Compete in the AA400.

 

I grew up at that track, the fairgrounds that is. It would mean the world to me to be able to run at that track. Mark do you know what all would be needed to run our Pro Trucks?

 

Thanks

Jeff O'Neill

#51 NASCAR Pro Truck

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I grew up at that track, the fairgrounds that is. It would mean the world to me to be able to run at that track. Mark do you know what all would be needed to run our Pro Trucks?

 

Thanks

Jeff O'Neill

#51 NASCAR Pro Truck

Jeff, Hope to see you at the Fairgrounds..... Dano

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there is going to be an all american this year cant remember date but read article last week on speed51.CRA is doing the super late model race

Forgot to ask, but will you be there> Sure hope so. Dano

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Jeff I believe u guys don't have to change anything but maybe weight. The rules are broken down for each style of truck. It ranges from Pro Trucks all the way to coilover late model trucks. USST usually allows 8" HOSSIER tires on small tracks like Nashville Fairgrounds. You will need to call USST tech man Jay Shaffeur to confirm these statements. Jay's number is available on the Usst website.

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