IndyCar moves season finale from downtown streets to Nashville Superspeedway amid NFL construction



IndyCar will move its September season-ending championship finale from the downtown streets of Nashville to the superspeedway in Lebanon because of construction surrounding the Tennessee Titans’ new stadium, organizers announced Wednesday.

Big Machine Label Group chairman and founder Scott Borchetta said he is now overseeing the IndyCar race, which in its fourth running was made the Sept. 15 season finale. The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix has been a smashing success as the event raced down lower Broadway and used the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge as part of the tricky track layout.

Borchetta said he spent the last several weeks reviewing the 2024 plans for the IndyCar race and determined the event had to be moved to Nashville Superspeedway. IndyCar ran eight times at the superspeedway, with Scott Dixon winning the final three races from 2006 to 2008.

Construction on the Titans’ new stadium is expected to begin at the end of March.

“With several key locations around the stadium not available as in years past, and with the proposed course change to run through the streets of downtown Nashville, we simply don’t have the proper space needed by the race teams nor the proper access for downtown businesses and residences to execute the world-class event that is expected by our amazing fans, IndyCar teams and sponsors,” Borchetta said.

Borchetta said the race organizers have maintained their relationship with the Titans, and he praised the support of the city of Nashville and new mayor Freddie O’Connell.

“We fully intend to continue conversations with them and the city of Nashville as to when the right time will be to return to the streets of Nashville,” Borchetta said. “The mayor is a real fan of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix and has attended the race every year. He and his team have helped us address all angles in how best to proceed, and we feel that we’ve landed on the best option for a great race experience, for both fans and race teams.”

Nashville Superspeedway is owned by Speedway Motorsports and is a 1.33-mile D-shaped oval. It will be the first oval since California Speedway in 2014 to decide the IndyCar championship.

“Nashville Superspeedway is ideally suited to our highly competitive and extremely intense style of racing,” said Penske Entertainment President & CEO Mark Miles. “Our fans will eagerly anticipate watching a championship be decided on a high-speed oval. Scott and his team will do a terrific job organizing our finale weekend, and I’m incredibly appreciative of their efforts to pivot and find a fitting venue for our fans, drivers and teams.”

Dixon said fans should still expect a tremendous show despite the change of venue.

“I have some fond memories of Nashville Superspeedway. The racing was always intense and strategy was always key,” Dixon said. “Add the fact that it’s now hosting the season finale and I have no doubt it will make for a fantastic show. While we’ll miss being on the dtreets of Nashville in 2024, I look forward to returning to a place that has been special to my career.”

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing



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