Nashville Superspeedway is ready to conduct a race now. But track president Erik Moses wants to make sure everything is perfect before welcoming 40,000 spectators to the track’s first racing event in a decade, and first-ever NASCAR Cup Series competition.
“A lot of the things that needed to be done have been done and a few that are still being done as we speak,” Moses said during a Zoom interview earlier this week. “I’m looking out my window now at some equipment and some banners going up and getting this place ready for its debut.
“We’re really excited about it. Things are going really well.”
The June 20 Ally 400, the first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race in Wilson County and the first in middle Tennessee since 1984, is a sellout. Tickets remain available for the June 18 Rackley Roofing 200 truck race and the June 19 Tennessee Lottery 250 Xfinity race. Both the Truck Series and Xfinity (formerly known as the Busch Series) were staples here during the track’s earlier incarnation from 2001-11. Moses admits those events probably won’t completely fill the seats.
“We won’t be unique in terms of having a lesser crowd for Friday and Saturday than we will for Sunday,” Moses said. “As we have starting saying, ‘The Cup brings the party around here’. We know people want to see the Cup drivers.”
Moses said they are looking to use the lower-tier events to attract people who may want to “dip their toe in the water”.
“It’s a great way to see the future Bubba Wallaces of the world driving the trucks Friday,” Moses said. “Friday will be great under the lights. First time we’ll have vehicles on the track competing in 10 years. Wonderful opportunity for folks to come out. Same thing for Saturday to see Xfinity drivers, the stars of the future and guys like Kyle Busch who just like to drive.
“The races are shorter than a Cup race and, frankly, the tickets are a little cheaper. So we’ve started to appeal to folks to say, ‘If you want to give us a try, but aren’t ready to have your first track experience feel like the Super Bowl, come on out on Friday and Saturday and dip your toe in the water’.”
That brings to mind traffic control.
“We’ve got a traffic plan that we feel is pretty strong,” Moses said. “We’ve been working with Wilson County, Rutherford County and Tennessee Department of Transportation and the highway patrol to ensure that those plans go well.
“Forty-thousand people come to the same place at the same time, you may have to wait a little while to get in and get out. I think we’ll be no different about that, but we have a good plan and I think that plan will serve us well.”
Traffic was an issue in 2001-11. Wi-Fi, not so much. Today, it’s a necessity and track and NASCAR officials have been working on getting the wireless online.
“We have been told by our partners at NASCAR design and development we will have at least equal to if not better Wi-Fi connectivity than any other track on the circuit… That works well in dense crowd environments.”
Moses was asked could a race be held today?
“We could certainly run a race today,” Moses said. “I would not want to invite our 40,000 guests today because I want to present to them the best possible venue for our fans, and we won’t be ready for that until right up until next week. We want everything to be as close to perfect as it can be.”