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IndyCar's inaugural Nashville season finale moves from streets to Nashville Superpeedway

Written by Archie O'Reilly

In a shock turn of events, the inaugural Nashville-hosted NTT IndyCar Series season finale has been moved from the streets of the Music City to Nashville Superspeedway. It will still run on the same weekend as previously announced, with the race to be run on 15th September.

IndyCar last ran at the 1.33 mile D-shaped oval between 2001 and 2008, with Scott Dixon, who has outlined the "intense" racing and importance of strategy, winning the final three races in 2006, 2007 and 2008. It will be the first oval race to close out the season in a decade, since Fontana in 2014.

Nashville Superspeedway provides an adequate high-speed oval replacement following the removal of Texas Motor Speedway from the 2024 calendar. It adds to the existing superspeedway track on the calendar, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, along with five races across three shorter oval tracks.

Nashville's addition means six of the final eight races of the 17-race season - in terms of points-paying events - will be run on oval tracks. Ahead of Nashville, IndyCar visits Iowa Speedway for a doubleheader in July, followed by World Wide Technology Raceway in August and a doubleheader at the returning Milwaukee Mile to close out August and begin September.

"Wrapping the season on a high-speed oval is going to be really thrilling for everyone, most especially our fans," Josef Newgarden, who is a Tennessee native and won four of the five oval events last season, said. "As a Nashville resident myself, I'm also excited Scott [Borchetta] and his team are still planning to host activations and entertainment downtown."

IndyCar's development series, Indy NXT by Firestone, will also run on Nashville Superspeedway on the same weekend to close out their season.

The decision to move the Nashville event has been taken in light of a review by Big Machine Label Group Chairman and Founder Scott Borchetta, who has assumed a new leadership role in the running of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. It has been decided to move the event for this year amid construction work on the Tennessee Titans' NFL stadium, which is situated next to the track.

"With construction set to begin for the new Titans Stadium, the Grand Prix operations team knew they'd be faced with new challenges, knowing that the course used for the first three years would have to change dramatically for 2024's race," Borchetta said.

"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 has reaffirmed that the event intends to continue conversations with the Tennessee Titans, whose management have always been supportive of the event, and the City of Nashville to determine when the right time will be to return to the streets of Nashville.

"The Music City Grand Prix has been more than a race. It's a festival that celebrates both Nashville and racing. We appreciate Scott Borchetta and Big Machine's vision and partnership and look forward to the race returning to downtown Nashville in the future," Mayor Freddie O’Connell said. "I've enjoyed attending all three Music City Grand Prix races and appreciate their continued commitment to Nashville."

Penske Entertainment President & CEO Mark Miles added: "Nashville Superspeedway is ideally suited to our highly competitive and extremely intense style of racing, and we look forward to adding a Speedway Motorsports track to our schedule. Our fans will eagerly anticipate watching a championship be decided on a high-speed oval, with NBC providing a must-see network telecast."

Borchetta told media that the Titans Stadium "takes precedence" and IndyCar may not return to downtown Nashville until 2027, when the stadium work is due to be complete. There do remain plans to host events such as a pit stop competition downtown in 2024.


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